Etihad highlights Emirati women's role in aviation
Etihad Airways will mark the inaugural Emirati Women’s Day on 28 August by hosting a series of events under the theme of ‘Celebrating Emirati Women in Aviation’.
The airline will focus on raising awareness of the important role Emirati women play in aviation and will demonstrate the immense and diverse opportunities this vital economic sector can present for women.
Announced by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women's Union, to highlight the achievements of women in the UAE and their role in society.
Mona Walid, Etihad Airways vice president talent acquisition, said: “Since the launch of Etihad Airways in 2003, we have focused our efforts on attracting and developing young Emirati men and women in equal measure to be future aviation leaders at national and global levels.
“Emiratis represent 25% of our UAE based workforce, excluding cabin crew.
"We currently employ 1,269 Emirati women covering various roles, representing 49% of a total of 2,560 UAE nationals in our workforce. These include 46 female pilots and five engineers and technicians.
"Our vice president medical services, Dr Nadia Bastaki, is also the first Emirati woman to be registered as a specialist in aviation medicine.”
A panel discussion with an audience of 130 female professionals and students took place at Etihad Airways’ headquarters in Abu Dhabi and saw five successful women with aerospace and aviation experience sharing insights into on their careers and shedding light on the opportunities and challenges faced when stepping out of their traditional roles.
Proceedings were initiated with a keynote video speech by the UAE’s first female pilot, Captain Aysha Al Hamili, who is the permanent representative of the UAE on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), based in Montreal.
Captain Al Hamili said: “I continue to be inspired by those who make a change and have an impact on our society. Our leaders are our source of inspiration; they teach us that there is nothing impossible if we worked hard to achieve it.
“I applaud Etihad Airways, as the national airline, for its pro-active support and for providing the opportunities for the professional development of Emirati women in the industry.”
Etihad Airways employs 500 Emirati women in its commercial departments.
The airline’s award-winning Contact Centre in Al Ain is exclusively managed and operated by 160 women.
The number of Emirati women enrolling in Etihad Airways’ Aviation Bachelor of Science degree program at Abu Dhabi University, which was introduced to support the growth of Etihad Airways’ Cadet Pilot Program, is rising; about 30% of the first-year students and 20% in all four years of the course, are women. In aviation courses elsewhere in the world, women only comprise between eight and 12%