The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter welcomed its 100th signatory, AJW Group, at an event in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

The Charter reflects the aspiration of the aviation and aerospace industries to see gender balance across all levels and has seen great commitment from companies big and small across the industry since its launch at Farnborough International Airshow in July 2018.

The event featured a discussion from a panel of politicians, journalists and industry representatives on “promoting the pipeline – women in leadership”, discussing the work of the Charter and how best to support young women in the pipeline. This was followed by a networking reception where the new Aviation Minister Baroness Vere delivered a keynote address and signatories of the Charter were joined by MPs to discuss the importance of improving gender balance in the industries. The event was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Aerospace.

The panel was chaired by Josh Spero, Acting Transport Correspondent at the Financial Times, with Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West and SNP Education Spokesperson, Sumati Sharma, Vice President of Special Projects at Virgin Atlantic and Co-Chair of Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, Kellie Plummer, Director of People and Development at AJW Group, and Jess Poole, System Design Engineer at Rolls-Royce participating in the discussion.

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said:

“I am delighted to be joining the Department at such an exciting time. Aviation and aerospace are great industries to work in and the support of these 100 companies is an important step towards greater gender diversity. I hope that more companies will sign the Charter and I will be challenging the sector as a whole to do more.

“If any business is to have the highest quality workforce, diversity must play an important part. And I am delighted that so many companies have recognised this and are doing something about it. I look forward to working with them.”

Sumati Sharma, Vice President of Special Projects at Virgin Atlantic and Co-Chair of Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, said:

“Such rapid momentum on the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter in 8 months is very encouraging for the aviation and aerospace industries.

“The commitments made by more than 100 signatories to be the very best at driving diversity and inclusion is the beginning of the journey to achieving gender equality.”

Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice President at Airbus and Co-Chair of the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, said:

“The Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter has made great progress since it was launched last July. Seeing so much commitment from the aviation and aerospace industries to work towards gender equality is promising for our future.

“Today as we celebrate the Charter’s 100th signatory, we have taken a huge step towards making greater gender diversity in our industries a reality. I hope this is just the start of many great things in our journey towards gender equality in aviation and aerospace.”