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Encouraging women in aviation and aerospace

The ATSB’s Chief Commissioner Greg Hood presented at the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia’s inaugural Canberra Summit at the National Museum of Australia on team leadership and mentorship in a changing environment and why gender diversity is critical. 

ATSB’s Chief Commissioner Greg Hood presented at the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia’s inaugural Canberra Summit

Speaking on the importance of gender diversity and balance in an industry that is traditionally male-dominated, Mr Hood highlighted some sobering statistics of women in aviation.

“The percentage of female pilots at Australia’s major airlines ranges from about four to nine per cent,” said Mr Hood. “Also, the number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is around only a quarter of the total STEM workforce.”

Mr Hood acknowledged the important work of some of the agency’s female staff who were in attendance at today’s summit, highlighting their career paths and experience to the audience.

Safety Reporting Manager Elaine Hargreaves, who leads a team of six staff and manages the influx of up to around 16,000 rail, maritime, and aviation incidents and accidents each year; Kerri Hughes, one of the ATSB’s Managers of Transport Safety who leads a mixed-modal team of seven transport safety investigators and Tanya Puckett, the ATSB’s Manager of Organisational Development, who is overseeing the ATSB’s largest recruitment drive for additional Transport Safety Investigators since becoming an independent statutory authority in 2009.

“I am certain that a day will come when we no longer have to applaud such progress in gender balance,” said Mr Hood. “But until then, it is vital that we shine a spotlight on the achievements of women in traditionally male industries.”

Mr Hood said he was particularly proud to lead a relatively small organisation that employs 12 female Transport Safety Investigators...

Mr Hood said he was particularly proud to lead a relatively small organisation that employs 12 female Transport Safety Investigators who hold a range of specialist skills including human factors, technical analysis, aircraft maintenance engineering and aviation research.

“Equally, I’m proud that we have five women occupying executive roles, including two who are managers in our Transport Safety Division,” said Mr Hood. “It has now been well-established that a diverse workplace is critical to the performance of any organisation and achieving gender diversity within a workplace can encourage innovation and therefore a more holistic analysis of issues, which in turn leads to improved decision-making.”

While applauding the work being done by the Women in Aviation/Aerospace to promote the issue of gender diversity and the participation of women within the aviation and aerospace sectors, Mr Hood concluded his presentation by highlighting that only two weeks remain before applications close for anyone interested in becoming a Transport Safety Investigator.

“I can assure you, the ATSB will continue to do what it can to attract female staff into the Agency as well as encourage them to be promoted into positions at all levels,” said Mr Hood. “Hopefully I have managed to make a further contribution to improving gender balance by encouraging a number of you to apply for a role with the ATSB.”

ATSB’s Chief Commissioner Greg Hood presented at the Women in Aviation/Aerospace Australia’s inaugural Canberra Summit

 
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Last update 17 August 2017