Two women pilots flying a commercial aircraft. Iridium supports cockpit comms and safety services in the cockpit

Are women important to aviation? Yes


This is a Lean Into Aviation contribution from IAWA VP René Banglesdorf

I think women’s participation in aviation is crucial to its future success. Diversity of gender, ethnicity, age and thought drive every innovative industry forward faster than a good-ole-boys network. For an industry that’s flirting with supersonic speeds, greater diversity certainly is in order, and perhaps long overdue.

As the International Aviation Womens Association’s outgoing Vice President of General Aviation, Business Aviation and Helicopters – and the incoming Vice President, Inspire & Lead, I am thrilled to invite Runway Girl Network readers to an event established to start a discussion and possibly a movement to attract, retain and promote more women in aviation.

One of my favorite quotes is from a 19th century poet named Matthew Arnold. “If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.”

Can you imagine what we can do as leaders in our industry – men and women – if we talk about and take action toward broadening the talent pool for general aviation? Maybe we can lessen the impact of the pilot and mechanic shortages or innovate our way out of traffic jams.

IAWA has scheduled a one-day Women’s Leadership Forum in Boca Raton, Florida, after the NBAA regional forum just down the road in West Palm Beach. This will be a rousing event focused on the opportunities for growth in the industry, with an emphasis on attracting, retaining and promoting women in aviation.

From thought leaders in behavioral intelligence, innovation and regulatory affairs to pioneers in flight and humanitarian use of private aviation, the forum’s focus is on taking general aviation to the next level—and using women to help!


The day-long program will culminate with roundtable discussions about what we can do as individuals, business leaders, and general aviation community members to encourage and empower one another and the generations to follow.

Men are invited and encouraged to participate also. We need them to be part of the conversation!

Please consider joining us on January 25, 2018 in Boca Raton, Florida. The agenda and registration information is available on IAWA’s website.

We’ve kept the registration costs low with the help of some amazing sponsors: Avinode, Insured Aircraft Title Service, the National Business Aviation Association, Solairus Aviation, Privaira Aviation, the South Florida Business Aviation Association, Harper & Meyer, USAIG, First Republic Bank and Charlie Bravo Aviation.

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