SmartLynx Airlines advances toward gender balance in personnel

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Annually, the beginning of March marks the celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, a time to highlight and honour the significant achievements of women in the aviation industry and empower more women to pursue careers in this traditionally male-dominated field. Committed to the principles of equal opportunity, SmartLynx Airlines is maintaining a 40/60 gender balance in the company. With women currently representing 39% of the company’s personnel, there is still progress to be made, particularly within the flight and cabin crew, to work toward an even more balanced representation. This approach is part of a broader effort to foster gender diversity across various male-dominated sectors within aviation.

According to the most recent data from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which showcases the gender distribution across various categories within the aviation sector, SmartLynx Airlines currently stands above the European average of 7.1%[1] in technical roles. Remarkably, women constitute over a quarter (27%) of the airline’s technical department personnel.

Lilija Boltovska, Deputy VP Technical at SmartLynx Airlines, highlights the evolving landscape of the aviation industry: “While aviation remains a predominantly male environment, we are witnessing a consistent rise in young women embarking on careers in aviation engineering. Working in the technical department presents its unique set of challenges for women, yet it’s an immensely rewarding field. Ultimately, it’s the quality of your professional contributions and the results you achieve that matter most. I firmly believe that success in aviation is not gender-dependent but is the result of hard work and dedication.”

In 2021, SmartLynx committed to increasing the number of women represented in the company by participating in IATA’s #25by2025, which aims to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the aviation industry. Since then, SmartLynx has improved the results and increased the total percentage of women employed in the company by 3%, and it expects this number to keep rising. At SmartLynx, there’s a promising and gradual increase in the number of female pilots, a sector historically underrepresented in the aviation industry and even more so within the ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Leasing). Compared to 2021, a number of female pilots at SmartLynx has increased almost three times, and the number is expected to grow.

Ruzica Vukovic, A320 Captain SmartLynx Airlines: “Since early childhood, being a pilot was my only career option, and now I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. When I first joined SmartLynx, there were just six of us – female pilots. Now, there are so many that I’ve lost count. Witnessing the arrival of new female colleagues brings me joy and makes me realize how far we’ve come in aviation. For any woman aspiring to an aviation career, I can truly say that being a pilot offers the freedom to work globally and explore the world but also ensures substantial financial security. The journey is truly rewarding.”

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