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Recognising Solomon Airlines women on International Women's Day

Posted on March 09, 2023 at 02:00 PM in General News

  • Solomon Airlines joins IATA ‘25 by 2025’ initiative to improve female representation in the aviation industry

Solomon Airlines has marked International Women’s Day by proudly highlighting the diverse achievements of the airline’s female staff.

The national carrier invited female representatives from various departments to take part in a public parade in Honiara yesterday, to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Solomon Islands women.

The women came from many departments of Solomon Airlines including Flight Operations, Marketing, Finance, HR, Engineering, Cabin Service and the airline’s Operation Control Centre.

They marched with their counterparts - Solomon Islands women working in other State-Owned Enterprises, Government, Embassies, local community groups, churches, schools and civil societies.

The parade and ongoing International Women’s Day celebrations highlight this year’s IWD theme of ‘#DigitAll’ which celebrates learning, empowerment and protection of women in Solomon Islands and elsewhere in the world, through the advancements of technology.

The airline also confirmed it is a willing participant in the ’25 by 2025’ global initiative led by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to improve female representation in the aviation industry.

“We were proud to celebrate and to stand with other Solomon Islands women to highlight equality and also the important subject of equitable access to digital technology,” said Solomon Airlines Human Resources Manager, Mrs Monica Utukana.

“It’s time that we truly embrace equity in Solomon islands to ensure that women are fairly recognised in all areas, including in the home, in the community and in the workplace place,“ she said.

Solomon Airlines CEO Mr Gus Kraus agreed.

“On this day we are reminded of the contributions of our female staff and also their potential for the future.

“Technology has enhanced our lives for the better in many ways and has become part of our everyday lives today. All women should be supported in every way to enable them to access digital technologies both in the workplace and in homes,” he said. 

“At Solomon Airlines, technology has had a very positive impact by providing our staff with easy access to information and resources that they would not otherwise be able to obtain.

“It has helped connect people locally and from all over the world, improved efficiency and made communication and collaboration much easier within our operation,” he said.

Commenting on the IATA 20 by 2025 initiative, Mr Kraus highlighted the contribution of women in leadership at Solomon Airlines.

“We are proud to have strong, intelligent and dedicated women working within our airline, with vision and determination to push boundaries and to lead the way in our team,” Mr Kraus said.

“We also have women who are proud to play a supportive role to others, with perseverance and commitment to help our team succeed.

“Such qualities are an asset to any organisation, and International Women’s Day is about acknowledging those contributions,” he said.

According to IATA, while there is currently no comprehensive airline industry-wide gender diversity statistical report, an estimated 5.1% of the world’s airline pilots are women, women represent approximately 26% of air traffic controllers; 18% of flight dispatchers; and less than 9% of aerospace engineers. - IATA 25-by-2025

Solomon Airlines said close to 50 percent of the national carrier’s staff are women, with women in leadership positions now including:

  • Monica Utukana, Human Resources Manager
  • Malina Ilala, Financial Control Manager
  • Aketa Nanauasi, Manager Quality Assurance – 145
  • Florence Padapela, Manager Cabin Crew
  • Margaret Vatia, Manager, Domestic Operations

Solomon Airlines Engineering and Flight Operations divisions also include a growing number of female pilots and engineers including:

  • Dash 8 Captain Lyndah Owen
  • Twin Otter Captain, Patricia Avosa
  • Engineering Technical Records Officer, Norah Morisudah 
  • Engineering Stores Supervisor, Zoe Miniti

In line with the 2023 International Women’s Day theme of ‘#DigitAll’, Solomon Airlines will also introduce a new company-wide staff awards program to recognise creativity and out of box thinking to advance and improve the airline, based on digital innovation

As part of ongoing IWD celebrations, the airline will have a public exhibition stall today at town ground field for those who wish to learn more about female career path opportunities with Solomon Airlines.

The airline is also featuring three female staff members on Solomon Airlines Facebook page sharing their insights on what International Women’s Day and the ‘#DigitAll’ theme means to them.

International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day observed annually on 8th March, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and equal opportunity.

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