Ethiopian Airlines has set a precedent in the aviation world after an all-women flight crew and cabin staff flew from Addis Ababa to Bangkok on 19 November.
And it wasn’t just in the air. Female employees in all sectors at the airline—including cabin, airport and ramp operations, air traffic controllers, aviation safety and security, and the global call centre—contributed to the event.
Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, spoke on the historic move for the company, strengthening the airline’s stance as a non-discriminatory employer and celebrating the fact that the airline’s workforce comprises 30 per cent women.
‘It is a great honor for us to have competent women aviation professionals at Ethiopian in every aspect of the aviation field … Ethiopian (is a) gender responsive organization that strives to pursue its underlying stance of being an equal opportunity employer.
‘We are very proud of their achievements and contributions both as a national pride for Ethiopia and a vital treasure for the world at large. It is our sincere belief that this will continue with an enhanced magnitude and passion to sustain Ethiopian on its fast growth trajectory.
Tewolde GebreMariam added that it was, ‘an ample opportunity to inspire young African female students to believe in their dreams and embark to fill the skill gap for aviation professionals.’
Earlier this year Flight Safety Australia examined the general shortfall of female pilots and maintenance engineers.
And according to Boeing’s 2015 market outlook, the demand for new pilots and technicians across the globe will reach more than one million in the next 20 years.
Given this likely demand for people to fly and maintain aircraft, it makes sense to recruit from, and retain, an under-utilised resource: the other half of the population.