The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India has taken a proactive step towards promoting gender equality within the nation’s aviation sector. On August 10, 2023, the DGCA established a four-member committee composed of senior officers to devise strategies and recommendations aimed at achieving gender parity in the industry. The committee’s objective is to propose actionable measures that the DGCA can implement to foster gender equality in the aviation sector.
The committee is composed of seasoned professionals who hold key positions within the DGCA:
- Survita Saxena, Director (Operations)
- R P Kashyap, Director (Training)
- Pavan Malviya, Deputy Director (Administration)
- Kavita Singh, Deputy Director (Aircraft Engineering Directorate)
Formulating Norms for Gender Equality:
The committee is tasked with formulating norms and guidelines that will facilitate gender equality within the aviation sector. These norms will subsequently be shared with aviation stakeholders, encouraging them to adopt and integrate these practices into their operations. The intention is to create a more inclusive and balanced work environment.
Timeline and Deliverables:
The committee’s mandate includes submitting a comprehensive report containing recommendations within six months from the date of its formation. This demonstrates a sense of urgency in addressing gender equality issues within the aviation industry.
The initiative aligns with the commitment of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which aims to promote the active participation of women and strive for a gender ratio of 50-50 (women-men) by the year 2030 across all professional and higher roles in the global aviation domain.
Acknowledging Existing Progress:
While acknowledging the strides made in the Indian aviation sector, particularly in terms of female pilots, there’s recognition of the need to further encourage and equip women to join and excel in various roles within the industry.
Radha Bhatia’s Perspective:
Radha Bhatia, Chairperson of Bird Group and leader of the non-profit organization Women in Aviation India Chapter (WAI), emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the inclusion of women in aviation. She highlights the need for collaborative efforts among various stakeholders, including airlines, airports, ground handlers, maintenance services, and regulatory bodies.
The consulting and research firm CAPA – Centre for Aviation underscores the significance of gender diversity in its report, indicating that India lags behind other nations in terms of women’s participation in the labor force. The report advocates addressing both the supply side and legal frameworks to ensure meaningful progress towards gender equality.