Together, we can go anywhereThis is easily said – and it’s true. Talent will open any door for you at British Airways. Yet in some roles in our business there are a lot more men than women. We want to change this. Gender balance is important to us. Half of our potential customers are women and we want our teams to reflect the customers we serve. We want to work with the best people, and we don’t want to be limited by gender.
As a brand we have an impact. We want to make sure that’s a positive one. Gender balance is one area where we can do that. We know there are talented women pilots, engineers, baggage handlers and technicians out there and we want them to join us.
Bigger and better
In March 2018, we organised the UK’s biggest ever all-female flight to mark International Women’s Day. This was an opportunity to showcase all our fantastic female colleagues working throughout the airline 61 women whose roles ranged from security and baggage handling to pilots and cabin crew worked together to the 204 all-female passenger manifest proud – and the flight left an inspiring message in its wake.
The next generation
British Airways First Officers Rebecca Panther and Amie Kirkham spoke to over 100 students at our Flying Futures event, over 30% of them girls, about pursuing a career in the flight deck. We invited the children to our Head Office in Waterside to learn about what flight training involves and what it means to be a pilot. Captain Al Bridger, Director of Flight Operations, said:
“Through events like this we are aiming to inspire the pilots of tomorrow and, with determination, they can succeed.””
Debunking myths and entrenched preconceptions is a key aim. To stop these taking root in the next generation of girls, 40,000 boys and girls every year come and take the controls on a replica BA flight at Kidzania. This helps us show young children that anyone can aspire to be a pilot.
Leading by example
Tsungi Maruta was the example we chose to lead with. A former British Airways Engineering apprentice, she now knows the ins and outs of the very latest aviation technology. The 787 Dreamliner. The A380 Superjumbo. These are her workplace now. Tsungi had a dream and put in the hard work, application and determination to make it come true.
27 year old First officer Hannah Vaughn trained for 2 years with BA and now flies an Airbus A320s across Europe. Her goal is to become one of the industry’s few female captains. As BA launches a commitment to recruit more female pilots ahead of its centenary in 2019, she spoke out about her experience getting into aviation and said: “My message to girls is: you can do this.”
Women in Engineering
We celebrate the legacy of women in engineering and we want to empower our current engineers and inspire the next generation to champion and increase gender balance. Collaborating with others in the industry helps us to do this.
Helen Craig, one of our A320 captains, and Jane Priston, founder of the Amy Johnson Foundation recently attended a networking day. Jane inspired with how Amy, the UK’s first female ground engineer became the first woman to fly from the UK to Australia. Caroline Chambers, Senior Vice-President at Rolls-Royce, spoke about how inclusion and collaboration between business was vital to in helping to boost awareness of women in the industry.
The event was organised by our Cabin Design Engineers, Eleanor Levitt and Susan Gurung, who commented: “We are thrilled with how the event went. It was uplifting to see so many fantastic female engineers in one room. We really feel that BA’s commitment to women in Engineering shone through to the rest of the industry.”
We mind the gap
Equality is a journey and it’s one we are committed to. When it comes to the gender pay gap we’re the top ranked airline.
We’ve made ambassadors of our current female pilots. At schools and colleges, and as part of our recruitment drives, they are the role models the next wave of women growing up can be inspired by.
From the percentage of female flight crew to our 30-year track record of recruiting female pilots, our commitment to gender balance is evident in all that we do.
At British Airways, we encourage and support all our colleagues their careers each and every day. If you are a woman, why not join them? You can build a career for yourself but you don’t have to do it by yourself. We’ll be behind you and beside you every step of your way.
Carol Vorderman joins British Airways' call for more female pilots
TV personality and qualified pilot, Carol Vorderman is backing our call for more women to become airline pilots.
More videos (click to play)