Qatar Airways is well known for pushing boundaries and being innovative. Always forward thinking, the airline is committed to equality issues within the aviation industry. As a demonstration of their commitment to gender equality, just two days after International Women’s Day, a landmark flight was launched on March 10th. This was a scheduled service between Brussels and Doha, but there was something a little different about this flight compared to the other flights operating that day. The difference being that the crew was made up entirely of females.
Qatar Airways has recently partnered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with an agreement to support the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards over the next decade. The focus of the awards is to aid and encourage females to enter the industry without prejudice. Traditionally thought of as a career choice for males, females count for less than 5% of pilots, and this is something that Qatar Airways and the IATA wants to change. The first award winners will be announced in June at the IATA AGM.
A world of opportunities for young women
While there’s still a long way to go, gender roles are no longer so clearly defined. These days it isn’t a huge shock if a father wants to stay at home to look after his children while his wife works. Likewise, young girls are being encouraged to choose a career based on their own skills and wishes and not on what is expected of them because of their gender. Within the aviation industry, females are being encouraged to pursue the career that they wish to. No longer simply presumed ideal for the ‘air hostess’ role of the past, becoming a pilot is highly achievable and an attainable goal.
Sending a clear message
This all-female flighs from Brussels sends a clear message. It’s a true demonstration that every role involved in a flight can be perfectly completed by the highly trained women working for Qatar Airways. It’s a great advertisement for women to move up the career ladder within the industry, and to encourage other females to get involved and train for the job they really want, not one that is expected of them. HE Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker put forward an interesting point, stating that the most advanced societies have women in their highest ranks of leadership. Qatar Airways has had a lot of positive feedback regarding their stance on equality and their proactive efforts to counteract inequality in aviation.