Young female engineers working with helicopters, Young woman in front of airplane with arms crossed, female air traffic controller holding tablet in airport tower office room, business woman standing in front of a corporate jet with arms crossed

Since 2019, the Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative has encouraged girls and women to pursue one of the many dynamic, rewarding and long-term career opportunities available in aviation.

Driving change in the aviation industry

Since 2019, the Initiative has funded a range of activities to increase visibility and awareness of the sector amongst young girls and women. These collaborative efforts with industry partners reached more than 200,000 women and girls, directly engaging with and mentoring more than 30,000 students, parents, teachers and career advisors.

New activities funded under the Initiative over the next 2 years include:

  • Raising Horizons: Creating School Base Non-traditional Pathways into Aviation program to empower First Nations students aged between 12 and 18 from remote communities across North and Far North Queensland, including the Torres Strait, to pursue careers in the aviation industry, delivered by Gunggandji Aerospace.
  • Sky Careers Connect, and Sky Careers Leadership initiatives will promote learning and job opportunities for young girls and women interested in, or already in, the aviation industry, including from underrepresented groups in regional and remote areas. Activities will upskill, empower, and support women at the early stage of their aviation journey, and enhance career advancement opportunities, delivered by the Civil Aviation Academy of Australasia.
  • Navigating Aviation: Leadership, Culture and Visibility program to promote inclusion and support for business owners in the industry to better understand how to manage, support and retain women in the aviation sector, delivered by Navigating Aviation.
  • A Women in Aviation Culture Survey, and a Barriers to the Workplace Survey that will collect feedback on the changing understanding of early career engagement, and focus on what drives women to leave the aviation industry. The Aviator in Schools project will deliver resources, mentor teachers, site visits, career talks and hands-on demonstrations to encourage careers in aviation, focusing on schools with students from underrepresented backgrounds, delivered by Aviation/Aerospace Australia in partnership with the CSIRO.

These new projects build on other projects funded under the Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative, and aim to encourage women to enter and remain in the industry to help address gender imbalance and alleviate skill shortages.

Projects in progress

Activities funded under the Initiative in 2024 include:

  • forums to support our emerging women leaders in aviation, to drive long-term cultural change to increase inclusion for everyone through male champions of change, and to foster interest in aviation amongst high school students through the Aviation Career Explorer program, delivered by WAI Australian Chapter
  • awareness and outreach activities targeting school students to increase their awareness of the possibilities aviation offers them, delivered by the Civil Aviation Academy of Australasia
  • programs targeting flight instructors to foster leadership and inclusion skills, and targeting high school students to develop their interest in STEM careers in aviation, delivered by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and
  • designing and piloting behavioural interventions in the industry using nudge theory to influence cultural change, delivered by ThinkPlace Australia.

These activities will not only increase awareness of the breadth of careers available in aviation amongst girls and women, but will also seek to change the aviation industry's culture to ensure it's more inclusive and will welcome the diversity of skills and experience that women and girls can bring.

The Strategic Action Plan

In September 2023, we released a Strategic Action Plan to guide the delivery of the Initiative to 2026 with a focus on identifying opportunities around leadership and culture, visibility and awareness, collaboration and continuous improvement. Findings from the Barriers to the Pipeline report, alongside a Mid-Program Evaluation of the Initiative, informed the Strategic Action Plan.

Developed in close consultation with industry the Strategic Action Plan is ensuring the Initiative contributes to the sustainability of the aviation industry by looking at ways to address the gender imbalance and skills shortages. It aims to build on efforts by industry to create an environment where women choose a career in aviation, and are welcomed into an inclusive and supporting industry.

It will do this by working with industry to:

  • increase female representation across the aviation workforce
  • attract and retain more women into critical careers in aviation (e.g. engineering, airport operations and piloting)
  • develop and provide resources and strategies to help women build careers in the industry and improve their economic security, and
  • leverage the largely untapped pool of talented and skilled women and direct them to where they are needed within the industry.

Next steps

Find out how you can get involved:

  • Look at the Event Schedule below.
  • Visit Our Partners page.
  • Email us with any questions to discuss opportunities or explore next steps.

Event schedule

The Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative (the Initiative) works alongside specialised industry suppliers and partners to deliver projects and events that will help to raise awareness, increase diversity, inclusion and representation of women and girls in the aviation industry.

Events delivered by our current suppliers occurring over the following months are listed below. You can find out more or register your interest by clicking on the links. This schedule will be updated with links as event dates are confirmed. In the meantime, please contact the relevant organiser on the Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative Our Partners page to find out more.

Date Event Organiser
April Sky Careers, events in Perth metro area Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
May Sky Careers, events in the Perth metro area, Northam, Busselton, Bunbury Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
16-19 May Sky Careers, Perth Expo Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
June Design Labs workshops ThinkPlace Australia
June Sky Careers, events in Perth metro area, Kalgoorlie, Derby, Broome, Manjimup, Serpentine and Collie Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
11 July Design lab 1 – Creating the environment for women to thrive and survive – register: Design lab 1 ThinkPlace Australia
18 July Design lab 2 – Emerging roles in aviation – register: Design lab 2 ThinkPlace Australia
July Behavioural nudge trials ThinkPlace Australia
July  Sky Careers, events in Perth metro area, Karratha, Port Hedland, Esperance, and Northam Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
12 July Emerging Leaders Forum, Cairns | Gimuy WAI Australian Chapter
July Wings of Leadership Professional Development Program Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
July/August Future Aviation STEM Leaders Pilot, school workshop Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
August Sky Careers, events in Perth metro, Darwin metro, Mandurah, Kunanurra, Narrogin, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Newman, Tom Price, and Katanning Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
20 August Sky Careers, Darwin Expo Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
September Sky Careers, events in Perth metro, Busselton, and Alice Springs Civil Aviation Academy Australasia
TBC Champions of Change Forum WAI Australian Chapter
TBC Aviation Career Explorer events WAI Australian Chapter