celine emma
Celine Hourcade, left, Emma Murray, right Credit: IATA

A mentorship scheme has been launched by Women in Aviation and Logistics (WAL) in a bid to support the next generation of female leaders.

Free to join, the scheme is attracting both genders to mentor women in air logistics who are looking to develop their careers.

Some 20 mentors, including some big-hitters in air cargo, have already signed up to the scheme, which asks participants to commit to at least four hours over four months. It will, essentially, give women access to expertise, contacts and the ‘old boy network’.

Launched by Emma Murray, CEO of Meantime Communications, and Celine Hourcade, MD of transformation consultancy Change Horizon, WAL has also launched a website designed to help conference organisers and publications contact more women to participate.

Since March, only 16% of speakers at 22 events have been women – with three online events having no female speakers.

“We continue to push for gender parity to future-proof and energise our industry by developing projects with tangible results, as well as monitoring the industry to give constructive feedback,” said Ms Murray.

“Now we need companies and individuals to spread the word and encourage mentees to come forward, and mentors to sign up.

“It is up to us all to make a change.”

WAL has also looked at the gender balance in boardrooms and executive teams of 24 industry associations. Of a total of 378 board seats monitored, only 11% are occupied by women. Four associations have male-only boards.

“Lack of gender balance is visible and audible,” said Ms Hourcade. “We certainly lack women at the top and women with specific expertise, and when they are in place, they are not always visible, or known to event organisers, groups looking for board members, or journalists: that is why we created a database of female experts.

“We are calling on more women to sign up and for the industry to properly use this resource to drive change.”

The WAL database is now searchable and includes women who have registered an interest in speaking at events, putting themselves forward for board membership and giving expert input for journalists.

To view the list of WAL mentors and access the database, visit womeninaviationandlogistics.org.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.