Mona Al Abdoli receives the Women in Aviation Leadership Award at the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Nearly 27,000 women are employed in the UAE aviation sector, representing 42 per cent of the workforce, it was revealed during the Airport Show in Dubai.

Mervat Sultan, President, Women in Aviation Middle East Chapter, said more women are now looking at aviation as a career of choice.

“If you want to build your nation, you need to build a generation first. Women empowerment is essential for betterment of the society. For this, women education and training are more important. We need to educate parents and children as well about employment opportunities in aviation,” she said.

“Women are in all areas of aviation, not only as pilots. There are more engineers, air traffic controllers, medical, technical and legal staff,” she said.

She was speaking at the Women in Aviation 10th Anniversary Conference, a co-located event of the 22nd edition of Airport Show.

Delivering a speech, Sheikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum, First Lieutenant Pilot, Dubai Police Airwing, said gender gap is still big in the aviation field and an effective roadmap is needed to resolve this issue.

She said she formed Shehana, a Women in Aviation Association, to empower and support women in the aviation industry. The vision of Shehana is to advance gender balance in the aviation industry through local, regional and international partnerships and collaborations.

“Women in the UAE are not just heard and seen but respected and included. To improve gender equality there is need for collaboration of sponsors, government and organisations supporting women in aviation,” she said.

Delivering Guest of Honour Speech Kuljit S. Ghata-Aura, President, Boeing Middle East Türkiye and Africa, said the UAE has made significant strides in empowering women in the aviation industry, with nearly 27,000 women currently employed in the sector, representing 42 per cent of the workforce.

“Boeing has taken steps to support gender equality in the workplace in the UAE. In December 2022, we joined 15 companies from the UAE’s private sector in signing a pledge to accelerate the advancement of gender equality in the UAE’s workforce by increasing the representation of women in leadership roles to 30 per cent by 2025. This pledge was an important opportunity for us to reinforce our efforts and align them with the UAE’s gender balance agenda,” he said.

Globally, women’s representation in Boeing workforce increased to 24.6 per cent, both because of hiring efforts and stronger retention.

“Here in the UAE, we are also proud to partner with the government and other stakeholders in promoting gender equity in the aviation sector,” he said.