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The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

Female Pilots Working Group launched

NZALPA Women’s Assistance Forum Coordinator Angela Cronin.

NZALPA Women’s Assistance Forum Coordinators Angela Cronin (Captain, Air Nelson) and Janet Taylor (air traffic controller, Christchurch Tower) attended IFALPA’s first Female Pilots Working Group (FPWG). This is Angela’s update on the event.

“This is a call to action!” These were the words of IFALPA’s Senior Technical Officer Carole Couchman when addressing members of the first ever Female Pilots Working Group (FPWG). 

This historic meeting was hosted by the Austrian Cockpit Association in Vienna from 14-15 October 2019 and was attended by 40 female pilots from 20 different countries. Janet Taylor and I had the privilege of attending as Coordinators of NZALPA’s Women’s Assistance Forum. 

One of the goals for the meeting was to draft a first Position Paper providing a high-level overview of what was necessary to attract, select and retain women in aviation. Currently only five per cent of airline pilots internationally are women. The Position Paper will be used to encourage all member associations to take action and ensure their female pilots are represented at all levels within the association, on their boards, and in their various committees. 

It was recognised that another paper should be developed, providing practical suggestions on establishing diversity programmes and structures to redress the balance and provide opportunity for their female members.

It was noted that it is important for female pilots to be on the governing bodies, negotiations committees or works councils as well as the safety and technical committees. 

The meeting was a great opportunity for female pilots to sit together, share experiences and learn from each other. The range of experience and cultures made for fascinating discussions and for many this was the first time they had been with so many female pilots in the same room. 

Janet and I felt many of the areas of concern for other member associations were already being addressed here at NZALPA, including the establishment of a Women’s Assistance Forum. However, with a low number of women pilots in our Association, and a predicted pilot shortage in the future we know there is much more to be done. We hope to continue our association with IFALPA’s FPWG as it has provided a platform for motivated women from all over the world to seek solutions on gender imbalance in the airlines.



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