The UAE Gender Balance Council takes part in the Global Aviation Gender Summit held in Madrid. It’s a significant event where experts and leaders gather to discuss and promote gender equality in the aviation industry. By participating in this summit, the UAE Gender Balance Council reaffirms its commitment to fostering inclusivity and empowering women in the aviation sector. This initiative plays a crucial role in advancing opportunities and breaking down barriers for women in the field. The council’s active involvement in international forums like this showcases the UAE’s dedication to driving positive change and creating a more balanced and diverse workforce in the aviation realm.
UAE Gender Balance Council Engages
|Event||Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023|
|Organizer||International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)|
|Date||5 to 7 July 2023|
|UAE Participating Entity||UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC)|
|UAE GBC Representative||Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs|
|at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and member of the UAE GBC|
|UAE GBC Representative||Ayat Al Salmi, Senior Project Manager in the UAE GBC|
|Purpose||Focused on enabling factors for achieving gender equality and empowering women in aviation|
|UAE’s Vision & Leadership||Directive from Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance|
|Council, to strengthen global partnerships for achieving gender balance in the UAE|
|UAE’s Efforts||Reviewed UAE’s efforts to establish gender balance in all sectors and its regional and global achievements|
|Affirmed UAE’s commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals|
|Meeting with ICAO President||HE Huda Al Hashimi met with Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of ICAO Council, to discuss cooperation|
|Emphasized the importance of the Global Accelerators Ambassadors Program to support ICAO’s gender balance goals|
|Summit Participants||Governments, international organizations, experts, academics, and private sector representatives|
|Gender Gap in Aviation||Global survey by “ICAO” organization indicated a gap in gender representation in the aviation industry|
|Positive point: The percentage of women’s participation in positions of pilots, air traffic controllers, and|
|maintenance technicians increased from 4.5% in 2016 to 4.9% in 2021|
|Importance of Gender Equality||Creation of a more inclusive industry, absorbing new perspectives and ideas, and providing innovative solutions|
|UAE GBC’s Role & Initiatives||UAE GBC established in 2015 to promote gender balance in all sectors|
|Projects and initiatives launched under HH Sheikha Manal’s directives, including the “Gender Balance Guide”|
|More than 22 new legislation and legal amendments issued to support gender balance|
|Women in Aviation in the UAE||Approximately 27,000 women employed in the aviation sector, representing 42% of the workforce|
|General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) increased women’s representation in leadership positions to 19% in 2022|
|GCAA increased women’s representation in technical specialties to 21%|
|Gender-Friendly Work Environment||Overall enabling environment improved from 46% in 2017 to 86% in 2022|
|UAE Private Sector Initiative||“SDG5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector” launched|
|64 companies, including those in aviation, financial services, and energy sectors, joined the initiative|
|Gender Balance Index||Framework and criteria for evaluating participating entities in the UAE|
|Strategic plans to achieve gender balance in all sectors and inspire more institutions and individuals to act|
The UAE Gender Balance Council (UAE GBC) actively participated in the esteemed Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023, meticulously organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Madrid from the 5th to 7th of July 2023. This pivotal event was dedicated to discussing and promoting the factors that enable gender equality and empowerment of women within the aviation industry.
The UAE GBC’s involvement in the summit was closely coordinated with the Delegation of the United Arab Emirates on the ICAO Council, in line with the visionary directives of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the esteemed President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of the Presidential Court. The council’s mission to strengthen global partnerships and foster gender balance in the UAE was showcased alongside the pioneering experiences of the country in promoting gender equality.
Led by Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi, the Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and a member of the UAE GBC, and supported by Ayat Al Salmi, Senior Project Manager in the UAE GBC, the Council delegation used this platform to showcase the UAE’s tireless efforts in establishing gender balance across all sectors. They also highlighted the nation’s regional and global achievements in this domain, a true reflection of the wise leadership’s unwavering support for women, recognizing their significant role in comprehensive development and the commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
During the summit, HE Huda Al Hashimi had a crucial meeting with Salvatore Sciacchitano, the President of the ICAO Council, where they discussed areas of cooperation to promote gender balance at both regional and global levels. Emphasizing the importance of the Global Accelerators Ambassadors Program, launched at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada, in May of the same year, HE Huda Al Hashimi highlighted the program’s aim to empower ICAO’s leaders with the tools and methodology needed to support the organization’s gender balance goals and transformational vision.
The summit served as an exceptional platform, convening representatives from governments, international organizations, experts, academics, and the private sector. It provided an opportunity for productive dialogue on the current situation and prospects for expanding partnerships and reinforcing measures to achieve accelerated progress towards gender equality in the aviation industry. The focus remained on enhancing women’s participation in the industry, aligning with the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals that emphasizes empowering all women and girls worldwide.
While recognizing the existing gender gap in the field of aviation globally, particularly in terms of job status, the summit acknowledged the positive trend of increasing women’s representation in key positions such as pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance technicians over the years.
The summit underscored the importance of gender equality in creating a more inclusive aviation industry, fostering fresh perspectives, innovative solutions, and diverse ideas that ultimately enhance competitiveness and resilience in the face of future economic challenges. It also urged stakeholders to work collaboratively to overcome the obstacles faced by women and girls in reshaping the workforce composition in the aviation sector.
As a keynote speaker in the session “Harnessing the power of gender-responsive policies and financing,” HE Huda Al Hashimi emphasized the significance of integrating a gender equality perspective into aviation policies, planning processes, strategies, and frameworks. The session examined methods to foster a women-friendly environment within the aviation sector, including the implementation of gender-responsive policies such as flexible working arrangements, promoting work-life balance, and adopting inclusive and transparent human resources policies. Adequate allocation of human and financial resources was emphasized as crucial to address the existing gender gap successfully.
During the session, distinguished individuals were present, including Poppy Khoza, Director General of the South African Civil Aviation Authority; Priscilla Mannis, Acting Head of Administration and Finance at the OSCE Mission to Kosovo; Gema Martin del Burgo, President of Ellas Vuelan Alto, an organization that promotes female talent in the aviation sector; Katja Pehrman, Senior Adviser at UN Women, and Dr. Leslie Groves Williams, a Senior Gender Equality and Leadership Consultant who moderated the panel discussion.
Regarding gender balance achievements in the UAE, HE Huda Al Hashimi reaffirmed the UAE’s dedication to enhancing successes within the aviation industry, with a strong commitment to collaborating with the ICAO. Part of this effort involves sharing knowledge about the Government Accelerators methodology and focusing on gender-related issues.
The UAE GBC, established in 2015 as a federal entity, bears the responsibility of promoting gender balance across all sectors, be it private or governmental, and is instrumental in encouraging gender balance in leadership and decision-making positions. Furthermore, the UAE seeks to become a role model of global competitiveness in this field.
HE Huda Al Hashimi highlighted the remarkable projects and initiatives undertaken by the Council under the visionary directives of HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. These initiatives include the development of the “Gender Balance Guide” in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and conducting comprehensive studies and reviews of laws and legislation related to gender balance and women’s empowerment. As a result of these efforts, more than 22 new legislation and legal amendments have been issued to promote gender balance in various aspects of society, including work, protection, political participation, personal status, judiciary, wages, banking transactions, freedom of movement, entrepreneurship, property, and pension.
The UAE GBC’s efforts to promote gender balance in the aviation sector have yielded commendable results. The sector boasts a high representation of women, with approximately 27,000 women currently employed, constituting 42% of the workforce. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has been proactive in increasing the percentage of women’s representation in leadership positions, achieving a general rate of 19% in 2022 and 21% in technical specialties. The overall enabling environment in the aviation sector has improved significantly, rising from 46% in 2017 to an impressive 86% in 2022, demonstrating the UAE’s commitment to providing a gender-friendly work environment.
Beyond the government level, the UAE’s efforts to enhance women’s participation in the labor market have extended to the private sector. The “SDG5 Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance in the UAE Private Sector” was launched, and 64 companies from various sectors, including aviation, financial services, and energy, voluntarily committed to increasing the representation of women in middle and senior management positions to a minimum of 30% by 2025.
A highlight of the UAE’s dedication to achieving gender balance is the Gender Balance Index. By outlining clear criteria and evaluation methodologies for participating entities, the UAE aims to inspire institutions and individuals to take concrete steps towards achieving gender balance.
Overall, the UAE’s robust participation in the Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023 showcased the nation’s commitment to gender equality and empowering women in the aviation industry. Through its exemplary achievements and initiatives, the UAE has positioned itself as a global leader in the pursuit of gender balance, contributing to a more inclusive and diverse aviation sector.