London City Airport challenges gender stereotypes with 300 East London students.

London City Airport attracts next female aviation leaders and challenges gender stereotypes with 300 East London students.

London City Airport’s ‘Women in Aviation’ programme involving 300 female pupils from East London secondary schools came to its conclusion today (1 April) in a finale held at the Sunborn London Yacht Hotel in Royal Victoria Dock.

Since January, the airport has worked with the students from 10 schools in Newham, Greenwich, Havering, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Barking & Dagenham, to highlight the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and the career opportunities in the aviation industry.

Improving the gender balance of the industry is a priority for the industry and policymakers, with the DfT’s recent Aviation 2050 green paper setting out that more needs to be done to tackle the gender associations in certain roles.

The pupils in the programme applied STEM skills in an aviation-themed challenge set by the airport. They were tasked with coming up with conceptual proposals for London City Airport’s new terminal, which is currently being built as part of a £500 million transformation.

Fifty pupils – the best-performing from each school - gathered at the Sunborn Yacht today to present their ideas to industry representatives and business role models. They also heard from the leaders about their experiences of the industry, to inspire the pupils and pass on advice. Julianne Marriott, Cabinet Member for Education in Newham, also joined the event, which was won by pupils from Wanstead High School. Their prize includes a mentor session and a visit to the Emirates Aviation Experience.

Robert Halfon MP, Education Minister, said:

"London City Airport’s ‘Women in Aviation’ is a fantastic programme that will help to takle our country's skills deficit as well as the deficit of women we have studying and working in STEM subjects. It really is incredible to see such a great employer providing a ladder of opportunity to three hundred young women from East London. City Airport are flying high in setting this example for our nation."

Wilma Allan, Chief Financial Officer at London City Airport said:

“By delivering our ‘Women in Aviation’ programme which specifically caters to female pupils, we can break down some of the historical stereotypes associated with the aviation industry, and encourage more Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills which are vital to the future of aviation.

“It is widely known that there is a skills shortage in the aviation sector, and at London City Airport we are committed to recruiting locally and making the industry more attractive to young people on our doorstep.”

Jane Middleton, the Chair of Airlines UK, said:

“It was amazing to see such robust presentations from the girls and I am delighted to see London City Airport’s engagement with the local community. What I have seen today really reinforces the decision by London South East Colleges to build the London Aerospace and Technology College at London Biggin Hill Airport. With the first students expected in Sept 2020 I look forward to seeing some of these girls again.”

The ‘Women in Aviation’ programme, delivered by 15billionebp, is part of the airport’s wider agenda to create a better gender balance across the business, and show how the sector offers an attractive career path for young women, including those from BAME communities.

In East London the need for STEM talent is particularly relevant due to the high rate of regeneration projects and an increasing demand for these skills. Historically, poverty and low incomes have also created barriers to the study of STEM subjects and the pursuit of STEM careers.

London City Airport recently signed the official Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, which commits to gender balance across all levels of the aviation industry, and to creating an environment where talent is nurtured regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnicity.

The airport, which has a female workforce comprising 1/3 of its employee population, also publishes its 2018 Gender Pay Gap report this week. It finds that there is a minimal difference in pay based on averages. The Median Female Hourly rate is 2.1% greater than the males, however, the Mean Male hourly rate is 1.0% greater than the females. Overall, the report finds that the majority of the job roles at London City Airport receive the same pay rate regardless of gender.

‘Women in Aviation’ participating schools
School Borough
Forest Gate Community School London Borough of Newham
Langdon Academy London Borough of Newham
Kingsford Community School London Borough of Newham
Royal Docks Academy London Borough of Newham
Royal Greenwich Trust Royal Borough of Greenwich
Coopers Company and Coborn School London Borough of Havering
Swanlea School London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Wanstead High School London Borough of Redbridge
Jo Richardson Community School Barking and Dagenham
South Chingford Foundation School London Borough of Waltham Forest