Menzies Aviation is announcing new targets focused on increasing the representation of women in leadership roles and improving diversity across its business.
Menzies is aiming for at least 40% of middle leadership roles in the company to be occupied by women by 2033, its 200th anniversary, and 25% of senior leadership roles by 2025, in line with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 25by2025 campaign. As part of Menzies’ commitment to improving diversity and sustainability, the company has joined the United Nations Global Compact and committed to aligning strategies and operations with ten universal principles on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. Menzies will report progress to the UN across these areas annually.
As a signatory, Menzies is taking part in the UN’s Target Gender Equality accelerator programme to advance women’s representation and leadership across the business. Menzies has made progress over the past year in increasing the number of women in middle leadership roles, who currently represent 32% of those positions.
In the UK cargo business for example, women now hold 45% of operational management roles. There has also been encouraging growth in the number of women taking on ground handling roles, with our Australia and New Zealand teams achieving notable success by doubling the number of women working as ramp agents.
This follows Menzies’ pledge to recruit 120 female ramp agents across the two countries during 2021. There are now 97 women employed as ramp agents, with 30 of those employees also working shifts on passenger check-in.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for employees to up-skill and move into different areas of the business. This has led to an increase in women taking on ramp agent roles.
Pelin Telci, who transferred from the passenger team to the baggage room and ramp department at Melbourne Airport commented on her new role: “The job was hard to start with, however after a while you get used to the lifting. I’m not saying it’s for every woman, but it is an avenue I can recommend, especially if you enjoy varied tasks.”
Natalie Eagle has worked for Menzies for one year at Brisbane Airport and was initially hesitant to join the ramp team due to the lack of diversity. She said: “I am so glad I didn’t let anxiety stop me from stepping out of my comfort zone and learning a new skill set, and I would encourage other women to do the same no matter what role it is because you’ll be so proud of yourself for doing it, plus you’ll never know if it’s for you until you try it.”
Juliet Thomson, executive vice president – people, Menzies Aviation, said: “At Menzies, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive organisation. The aviation industry has always been male dominated, so it is essential that women are supported and promoted at every level. Our middle and senior leadership targets and participation in the UN’s Target Gender Equality programme are embodiments of our commitment to advancing the representation of women at Menzies. We are very encouraged by the progress we have made so far and are motivated to achieve greater diversity in all its forms across our business.”