Women in Aviation Advisory Board Makes Recommendations to Congress

Published: 03-28-2022
What is the Women in Aviation Advisory Board and what do they recommend?

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

The Women in Aviation Advisory Board has recently issued a 70-page report full of recommendations to encourage more women to join the aviation industry and to make the industry more welcoming for women. Their full report will be made public by the end of the month.

These recommendations target the US Congress, regulators, and industry leaders to make changes to accommodate more women who wish to become a part of the aviation industry.

What Is the Women in Aviation Advisory Board?

The Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB) is the result of two trends merging in both the workplace and culture of the United States. The first trend is the so-called “pilot shortage,” which results in a high demand for commercial airline pilots and a desire for airlines to expand the hiring pool for potential candidates.

The second trend is the demand from some to diversify sectors across the United States to achieve a closer proportional representation of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and other categories except class, in a variety of different industries, when compared to the general population.

In response to these two trends, the WIAAB was established by Congress in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. According to the FAA, the goal of the WIAAB is:

The objective of the Women in Aviation Advisory Board (WIAAB) is to develop and provide independent recommendations and strategies to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to explore opportunities to encourage female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation. WIAAB plans to promote organizations and programs that are providing education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women for positions in the aviation industry.”

What Does the WIAAB’s 70-Page Report Include?

The WIAAB’s report includes 55 recommendations to improve recruitment and retention of women in aviation. It also includes recommendations to change the culture of the industry to attract more women in the career.

The report comes from the 30 members which includes industry leaders and “academic leaders”. The findings include that women represent 20% or fewer of most major aviation employees (with the exception of flight attendants.) The research also claimed that 38% of the surveyed women considered leaving aviation because of a poor family and work-life business. Negative workplace culture was another cited reason.

WIAAB’s Solutions

The Women In Aviation Advisory Board recommended the following solutions:

  • An annual summit dedicated to the issue

  • A change in uniform restrictions

  • Industry-wide reporting system on gender bias

  • Development of role models for aspiring female pilots

  • Expanded internships and field experiences for women

  • Online resources and social media outreach

  • More childcare support and increased parental leave

  • Growth in mentorship programs

And of course, no government advisory board forgoes the obligatory demand for more federal financial aid and grants. The WIAAB hopes its report will lead to changes in the industry and more opportunities for women, noting that they especially want more women from demographic minorities who represent an either smaller proportion of aviation.