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December 2019 President's Message

Dear IAWA friends,

In 2019, IAWA continued to impact and influence aviation and aerospace worldwide. Its global outreach has connected individuals, inspired lives, and led the way to a more inclusive industry.

This year, IAWA has hosted 28 Connects in 24 cities around the globe, the second General Aviation Leadership Forum, in Napa, the second European Leadership Forum, in London, and the 31st Annual Conference in Lima, Peru. More than 1,100 individuals have attended our events, over 100 speakers and tens of panel discussions were held on the most relevant topics impacting aviation and aerospace. These events had remarkable keynote addresses as well as sessions on professional development to help women unlock their potential.

IAWA members are leaders who shape the course of aviation and aerospace. They drive change and innovation within their own companies, share their knowledge and perspectives speaking at conferences and events, and advocate for other women by reinforcing the importance of supporting inclusion in the industry, strengthening our members‘ business networks, and fostering the development of the next generation of industry leaders. IAWA members are constantly recognized because of their contributions to our industry, and to the advancement of women.

The Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling study was concluded this year. The initiative, launched by IAWA and Korn Ferry and five other influential organizations (A4A, ACI, AIA, CANSO and IATA) is the first truly global study on gender diversity in aviation and aerospace. The Study was aimed at determining the root causes that may be preventing women‘s advancement into leadership positions in the industry as well as identifying best practices.

Since its creation in 1988, IAWA has been at the forefront of the conversations on inclusion and gender equality in aviation and aerospace. We all recognize the lack of women in our industry, but little has been done to determine the reasons for this disparity, particularly in leadership positions. The Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling Study is one of IAWA‘ s multiple initiatives aimed at changing the industry, and the Study has provided valuable insights into what needs to be done to continue our work and impact.

IAWA‘s also proud to have expanded its scholarship program this year. In addition  to the six existing scholarships with Vaughn College, Southern Methodist University, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States, McGill University in Canada, Swinburne University in Australia, and TU Delft in The Netherlands, IAWA has added a scholarship at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, and a joint scholarship with the Latin American Air Transport Association (ALTA). The latter joint scholarship, which is in its initial year will benefit six students at the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, in Panama. Developing the next generation of the industry‘s leaders and assisting aviation in meeting the current and future needs for talent is at the core of IAWA.

IAWA has definitely reached new heights in 2019. The formula for success is no secret; namely, the combined efforts of the selfless and dedicated IAWA‘s volunteers, and the continuous and unconditional support of IAWA‘s sponsors. Reaching our mutual goal of a more inclusive and diverse industry cannot be attained by one organization; instead, it is a collaborative effort of all the stakeholders involved. IAWA sets the foundation, raises the voices, and leads the conversations. There is no doubt that, without your help and generosity we would not be able to move the inclusion needle further in the industry. On behalf of all the women who have been impacted by IAWA‘s mission, we sincerely thank you for driving change, and invite you to continue doing so in 2020.