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June 2020 President's Message

You must do the things you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt

We all agree the past few months have been unprecedented in our industry and the world. Our daily lives, interaction with friends and family and simple neighborhood connections have all been impacted. Few of us have escaped the burden of the impact and the emotional toll not only from the change, but probably more important, from the uncertainty. Our brains resist uncertainty and often respond out of fear, which seldom has a positive outcome. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize what’s happening because we’re so busy experiencing it and working to adjust.

Despite the difficulties, we’re seeing green shoots sprout up in how we’ve responded, what we’ve learned personally and professionally, and how potential can be maximized in a way not previously understood. Ultimately, unwavering leadership is what guides teams and organizations through times of crisis. That leadership manifests itself in believing individuals and groups can manage the difficulties ahead and seeing past the clouds to the bright horizon. It’s an analogy for aviation and a place where we can find joy. While we all acknowledge the reality of the challenges and uphill battles ahead, our ability to fulfill our purpose is manifested in what we can do, despite perceived limits. Just as this is a challenging time for companies and individuals, it is a risky time for nonprofits as well. IAWA remains steadfastly committed to our mission to advance and support women in our industry, but we recognize the difficulty of companies and individuals to make their normal financial commitments. IAWA must adapt.

To that end, the IAWA Board has decided to forego a traditional in-person conference this year. Recognizing the possible limits on participation and travel restrictions, it didn’t make sense to continue with our normal format. Nevertheless, the 2020 Conference Committee is hard at work developing a proposal to produce a hybrid event that could include local watch parties and a rolling agenda around the world. They believe this does two things: provides more access to women in remote locations and involves more pockets of IAWA influence in a way that would be less possible at our traditional conference. Recent steps in this direction are proving impactful and exciting. Ultimately, this shows how important IAWA’s mission of connecting is to providing consistency in an uncertain world.

Finally, the personal outreach I’ve witnessed from and among IAWA members is extraordinary. I’ve seen it through social media and the many activities our members are involved in. In similar vein, the IAWA Board is intentionally expanding our team through an enlarged network of IAWA leaders. We’ve added 42 committee chairs and are excited to report that about 2/3 of the positions are filled. These leaders will not only help us achieve our goals, but also will extend our network and amplify our voice substantially. In this time of contraction and fear, few things are more important to ensure that we don’t lose ground for women in our industry. We will do it better together. Please ensure your voice is heard by reaching out if you have more to give.

Please join me in congratulating our latest scholarship winners:

Scholarships Winners:
2020 SMU – Brooke Vaydik
2020 Cranfield University – Elise Specty
2020 Swinburne University – Huejoo Kwon

Also, despite the worldwide impact of COVID-19, the flexibility of our IAWA leaders is reflected in their ability to pivot and provide additional ways to connect. These included:

Webinar Bouncing back after Covid-19 – Perspectives from Aviation regulatory agencies

Hosted by Audrey Cochet Moderator: Ms Carey Fagan from FAA

Panel: Ms. Nisha Lad – Manager International Relations – Civil Aviation Safety Authority Australia, Ms. Helen Robertson – Principal Policy Advisor to CEO – Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, Ms. Liang Nan (Director General, Department of International Affairs, Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

IAWA Virtual Networking

Host: Tanya Dolan Speaker: Rachel Maunder
Dates 27 May and 15 June

All the best to you and your families!


How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank