Airport Show to host 'Women in Aviation' exhibition
The 13th Airport Show, which will take place in Dubai from May 6-8, will host an initiative that aims to encourage Emirati women to pursue aviation careers.
Daniyal Qureshi, show director of the Airport Show 2013, said: “We want to highlight the fact that the UAE in general and its dynamic aviation industry in particular are urging Emirati women to pursue challenging and promising career opportunities in the aviation industry.”
The exhibition, which offers historical insights into the development of the aviation industry in the last 100 years, aims to raise awareness on the important role women have played in aviation and to demonstrate the immense growth opportunities this vital economic sector can present for women.
“Women in Aviation”, is an inspiring photography exhibition that travels around the world, highlighting the role and contribution of women in the global aviation and aiming to inspire more women to overcome boundries and set out to fulfill their goals,” said Qureshi.
Mariam Al Balooshi started working as a chemical engineer at the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), few would have thought that her career in the traditionally male-centric aviation industry will take off and that she will one day represent the UAE in international civil aviation industry forums or become a strong voice on environmental issues.
But Mariam is not the only one that has inspired Emirati women to seek careers in traditionally male dominated sectors.
Mariam Al Balooshi
Captain Aysha Al Hamili was the UAE’s first woman pilot and has been the UAE’s Permanent Representative on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) since October 2009.
“The sky is the limit for women that want to build their careers in the aviation industry in the UAE. There is a general shortage of Emirati women in engineering and other highly technical fields, especially in the aviation industry”, said Al Balooshi. “We need to create more awareness and support initiatives to bring more Emirati women in the aviation industry’s non-administrative segments. We need more women in leadership roles.”
In the past decade, more Emirati women have followed their lead in pursuing careers in UAE’s aviation industry. Salma Al Baloushi became the first Emirati woman to fly a plane solo for Etihad Airways, Dr. Nabila Al Awadhi became the first Emirati Aviation Medicine Physician, Nawal Al Suwaidi became the first Emirati woman cabin crew, and Noufa Al Afeefi became the first Emirati woman Air Traffic Controller. All these women have taken the lead proving that ambition and talent can provide a powerful tool for both women and men. Yet there is much more to be done in order to urge more women to pursue careers within the industry.
“There are few opportunities to pursue aviation-related educational programmes in the UAE, but things are beginning to change with many initiatives taking shape to fill the void. The UAE University and Mubadala Aerospace have started an initiative to create a pool of talented Emiratis in the coming years. Many more programmes are needed and the Emirati women need to be inspired and encouraged,” said Al Balooshi.
Mariola Ziolkowski, President of WIA International, Germany Chapter, said that the exhibition will travel around the world. “We also plan to invest surplus from sponsorship into a scholarship fund aimed at supporting the training and study of both men and women interested in aviation careers,” she added.