The importance of diversity and inclusion

Appropriately on International Women’s Day, the Boeing Theatre explored diversity and inclusion with a panel on Women in Aviation.

The panel:

  • Huy Kim Tran, Director of Aeronautics, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Mildred Troegeler, Director, Global Regulatory Strategy, Boeing
  • Shaesta Waiz, CEO, Dreams Soar
  • Alex Bristol, CEO, skyguide
  • Martin Rolfe, CEO, NATS

Diversity and inclusion are essential to excellence and innovation, said Boeing’s Mildred Troegeler. Getting the right talent in the right places will only happen with a diverse outlook. That makes diversity an asset and it must not be seen as a barrier to entry in the industry, especially by those with diverse backgrounds.

Huy Kim Tran stressed the importance of inclusion. Diversity can only go so far unless there is a cultural change to ensure inclusion in all aspects. This is best done by ensuring that diversity and inclusion are an integral part of any project from the outset.

Shaesta Waiz expanded on the theme of cultural change by insisting that women cannot have a magnifying glass held over their capabilities. Too often, it is still the case that women have to prove they are not a man’s equal but his better. Women need the space to be vulnerable, she said, and allowed to be themselves in the workplace.

The panel concluded that there is still plenty of work to do. Diversity is a topic that must be tackled every day at every level. Change is happening but diversity has not yet been established as a normal business practice.