Airport Show
13 - 15 May 2025

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group

Increasing role of women to boost aviation sector

Despite the fact that women are vastly under-represented in the aviation and aerospace sectors, they play a key role in the growth of the industry, and there has never been a better time for them to build a successful career in this industry and be part of the success story. This was echoed by industry specialists on Wednesday at the 4th edition of the Women in Aviation General Assembly, which was held on the sidelines of the Airport Show at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

In her welcome address, Mervat Sultan, President, Women in Aviation Middle East Chapter, asked females to come forward and be part of the growth of the aviation industry. Prince Fahd bin Mishaal Al-Saud, Chairman of GCC Aviation Authority, delivered a keynote address and said, “We have many inspirational female models, especially in the Arab world, and we are proud of them.” Thanks to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for its initiatives, which included raising the proportion of women working in aviation by 50% by 2030, he said.

In his keynote address, Bernie Dunn, President of Boeing Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, talked about the challenges and the sacrifices the women face to follow their dreams. Talking about the women, he said, “The reality is that you have much more difficult journey compared to your male counterparts. You are an inspiration to all of us.” “Although we have come a long way, there is much more to be done. We still live in a world today where women don’t enjoy the same access, opportunities or pay like men and it’s across the sector and not just the aviation sector,” he added.

Boeing forecast a need for 635,000 new commercial pilots over the next 19 years in the world. This is almost double of the current workforce. “Imagine this is a huge room for bringing more and more women into that particular workforce,” he said.

According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, the data of the US and UK indicating just over 4 percent of the airline pilot is women. While US airlines have the highest number of women pilot, India has the highest proportion of 12.4 percent.