Women in Aviation summit success

Published on FLTLT Barrie Bardoe (author), SGT Ray Vance (photographer)

Location(s): Melbourne, VIC

Topic(s): Recruitment, Helicopters, Squadrons, Events

Royal Australian Navy pilot, Lieutenant Natalie Davies has a close look at the cockpit of an AH-64 Apache whilst on operations in 2014. She was a guest speaker at the Women In Aerospace Summit. (photo: SGT Ray Vance)
Royal Australian Navy pilot, Lieutenant Natalie Davies has a close look at the cockpit of an AH-64 Apache whilst on operations in 2014. She was a guest speaker at the Women In Aerospace Summit.

Naval Aviators recently participated in the sixth Women in Aviation/Aerospace Summit which saw over 150 attendees enjoy a diverse range of presentations.

Held in Melbourne, the Royal Australian Air Force were sponsors for the event with the common theme of the day “You can’t be what you can’t see”, focusing on mentoring and making diversity visible.

Attendees heard statistics about current participation and strategies that are becoming well entrenched in organisations to improve flexibility, inclusion, and equality allowing for a more diverse workforce.

The summit also focused initiatives within aviation industry addressing diversity barriers such as flexible working hours (for both males and females), and career breaks or alternative pathways.

Attendees’ feedback indicated it was the best summit yet.

LEUT Davies speaks at Women in Aviation and Aerospace Australia conference in Melbourne.

LEUT Davies speaks at Women in Aviation and Aerospace Australia conference in Melbourne.

A range of presenters included Australian Rules Football commentator Sam Lane, who talked about the challenges of achieving a successful career in a male-dominated environment.

Squadron Leader Amanda Gosling presented on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force Gender Programs.

She reported that the number of female pilots in recruitment had increased on average from 2.9 percent to 20 percent which is a 600 percent improvement since 2012 when Project WINTER (Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles) was initially launched.

Navy Weapons Electrical Aircraft Engineer, Lieutenant Julia Gibney from the Defence Aviation Safety Authority found the summit both useful and empowering, the more-so for listening to the presentation of one of her Navy peers.

“Listening to Navy Pilot, Lieutenant Natalie Davies career highlights to date was very inspiring,” she said.

“What impressed me the most is that she has taken a very proactive approach to managing her career and it shows through in her confidence and her display of emotional intelligence at a relatively young age.”