Having experienced the sheer joy of flying and the thrill of achieving achieve success in her field, Sheikha Mozah is determined to do whatever she can to accelerate the development of women in the aviation industry.
In October 2019, she established the Women in Aviation Association (Shehana), to provide support and increase awareness of many opportunities in this exciting field – not only as pilots or crew members but as lawyers, engineers, doctors or other interesting careers that play vital roles in the industry.
The Association was named ‘Shehana’ after the ‘female falcon’ in Arabic, which is the most beautiful and the fastest type of falcons. Falcons are the national bird of the UAE, a symbol of great Emirati pride and unity, and of rising above challenges to achieve success.
CONFIDENCE, COMMITMENT, ATTITUDE, AND SKILLS
Around the world, Emirates employs more than 30,000 women from over 150 nationalities and they work across the entire spectrum of the airline’s massive global operations. However, this number is less than a third of the group’s male employees.
“The number of women in the aviation industry is far lower than the number of men. One of my instructors told me that he had only trained seven women throughout his 30-year career, but that all had shown confidence, commitment, attitude, and skills superior to the men he trained!” Sheikha Mozah has shared.
Having flown as a commercial pilot at Emirates Airlines in huge aeroplanes across lands and seas, and serving as a Lieutenant Pilot with the Dubai Police, Sheikha Mozah says that from her experience is that women typically have to try twice as hard as men to make an impact in the industry.
In the UAE, gender balance is reflected as a high priority in the federal government and women equality is promoted to ensure sustainable development and prosperity. Sheikha Mozah is confident that, with support, determination, and focus, the gender disparity in the aviation industry can be changed.
“Our leaders are way ahead in their vision in support of gender equality. Women in the UAE are not only supported but offered all sorts of opportunities and access in the workplace, together with a stimulating environment to thrive. For this, I am grateful and proud to be an Emirati.
“Our leaders have demonstrated so much faith in us. Now, it is our turn to make them proud and show them that the Emirati women can represent them locally and internationally. Shehana is where I see my passion and contribution growing.”
In 2019, Sheikha Mozah prepared and presented a working paper concerning women empowerment in the aviation industry at the 40th session of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
The story of her journey also moved millions when she shared her ambitions and achievements at the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, an international platform to further the positive impact of women on society.