ICAO data on the status of global aviation gender equality

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Our latest global survey on the status of licensed aviation personnel by gender reveals that the participation of women holding positions as pilots, air traffic controllers, and maintenance technicians has increased on an overall basis from 4.5% globally in 2016, to 4.9% in 2021. The percentage of women pilots in service increased from 3.6% to 4.0% globally, with the highest increase observed in the Asia Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean regions. North America scored highest globally with 4.6% women pilots, followed by Africa and Europe with 4.1% and 4.0%, respectively.

The percentage of female aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians rose from 2.7% to 3.0% worldwide, with increases being seen in all regions except the Middle East and Africa. The highest increases in this area were again recorded in the Latin America/Caribbean and Asia Pacific regions, and the Asia Pacific region also had the highest global percentage of licensed female aircraft maintenance engineers and technicians with 4.4%.

The number of women air traffic controllers remained stable globally at around 20.6%, with increases being observed in the Latin America/Caribbean and Middle East regions. The Latin America/Caribbean region featured the highest percentage of women controllers with 31.8%, followed by Europe with 21.4%.
Gender equality, or the access of women and men to the same opportunities, while respecting their specificities, is at the very heart of human rights and the United Nations values. Gender parity looks into the equal representation of genders and is a measure for equality. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, it will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap. In addition, not addressing the existing gender disparities across various sectors could cost the world economy 1 trillion dollars of GDP by 2030.

ICAO has published new analytical dashboards on the participation of licensed female aviation personnel in the workforce, and its expected that countries access to and awareness of the new data will lead to better-informed targets and policy-making to help reduce the still significant aviation gender gap. Additional data and analytics on the aviation workforce by gender will be released by the UN aviation agency as part of its Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023, taking place 5-7 July 2023 in Madrid, Spain.

The ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023, hosted by the Government of Spain, and organized in collaboration with the European Commission, UN Women, International Labor Organization and the International Transport Forum is a key moment for the aviation community at large to reflect on what exists and what is needed in terms of opportunities to expand partnerships, advocate for change and promote bold actions for achieving accelerated progress towards gender equality and women empowerment in aviation.

The ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit 2023 will bring together governments, international and intergovernmental organizations, private stakeholders, academia, young people as well as influencers of change from around the world for three days of active deliberations, knowledge-sharing and exchange on lessons learned and experience for change.

Grounded in its rich and diverse programme, the Summit is set to adopt a Call to Action, which encompasses a full range of result-based and action-oriented measures and steps for all actors and stakeholders across aviation and other relevant domains to enable a meaningful change in the aviation industry.