Women in Aviation (WAI) is an international non-profit organization that supports a large variety of women in the field ranging from astronauts to educators to university students. The non-profit organization has recently established its first chapter in the Middle Eastern region. WAI maintains progressive principles that advocate the role of women in the aviation and aerospace industry.
WAI aims to eradicate or minimize the challenges faced by women, providing a platform for both men and women to achieve their aspirations within the industry.
The chapter envisions an industry that provides equal opportunities and outcomes within the population in the region. These services include mentoring, scholarship programs and networking opportunities. WAI have participated in several events over the past three years that have allowed them to assert their presence in the region and communicate their goals to a wide variety of audience.
WAI aims to eradicate or minimize the challenges faced by women, providing a platform for both men and women to achieve their aspirations within the industry. This largely centers on the disproval of negative stereotypes surrounding working women in the region. WAI also serves as a hub for women in the Middle East to work collectively in inspiring and improving opportunities for aspirants in the aviation sector. The chapter also aims to cultivate skills and promote searching inwards, into the domestic market, for employment.
Most recently, WAI has organized the 1st General Assembly and Student Career Orientation in collaboration with the German chapter, in Dubai. The event occurred within the Dubai Airport Show and was sponsored by Strata, Beoing, Dubai Airport Show and organized by Reed Exhibitions. During the assembly, there was a number of panel discussions concerning women in aviation taking roles in management, piloting, training, motivation amongst other subjects.
The welcome speech was delivered by Mr. Bernard Dunn president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Following the speech, a presentation was delivered by Mr. Richard Baker, Boeing International HR Director for India, Middle East and Africa. The first topic discussed in the panel centered on women in aviation breaking records in management, hosted by Ms. Suad Al Shamsi, member board of director WAI. A second topic discussed trends in acquiring piloting licenses; “What it is to be a female pilot? How to become a pilot?”, facilitated by pilot and board member Ms. Kristina Tervo. Finally, the last panel topic concluded with a discussion on airport training hosted by Mrs. Mariola German Chapter president, who present a scholarship from Munich Airport for WAI Middle East Chapter.