As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, we have an opportunity to recognize the inspirational women who changed the world, and those who shaped our own lives.
I know the women in my family played the most important role in making me who I am. I owe my success to the love and lessons they provided. When I marvel at the extraordinary young individuals my own daughters have become, I cannot help but see in them the combined strength and grace of these women. I see in them aspects of my maternal grandmother (who raised me for a time in Mexico), a woman of unmatched faith and resilience who instilled in me a work ethic and standard of character to which I still aspire. I see in them the influence of my mother, who, though she was never someone of great wealth, passed on a wealth of love and grace to nine children, including my five incredible sisters.
What’s true of my own family is also true of our bigger United family around the world. Throughout our history, women wearing the United colors have not only broken glass ceilings, they’ve soared through them and made this airline what we are today.
Across United, we are led by incredible female leaders who continue to help us reach higher and move us forward. While such expressions of commitment to the power of parity in the workplace are not unique in corporate America, United’s actions are. What matters in achieving this fundamental goal isn’t promises, but proof.
That’s why United has proudly achieved the rank of No. 1 airline for female pilots. We have made a company-wide commitment to promote the success of all our team members, at every level, increasing the amount of United’s workforce that reports directly to a female supervisor.
Some Way to Go
While we are proud to be a leader in our industry in this regard, it’s a distinction we hope to share with all our peer companies. This month, we can’t simply celebrate the progress we’ve made in the past years. We need to look toward the horizon and see how much further we have to go in order to achieve true gender parity. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to drive diversity on our slates of candidates for job openings at every level. We have expanded our uIMPACT Business Resource Group, an industry-leading internal organization that supports and promotes the success of female United team members through continuous professional development, skills training, and networking.
We are also actively going out into the job market to find talented female candidates who may not otherwise choose this industry. We are partners with Women in Aviation and a proud sponsor of their worldwide Girls in Aviation events. It is all about introducing the next generation to the various aviation careers at United, and it is one of the most powerful ways to build a strong future of more women in the industry.
These efforts are not only critical to our sustained future, but to that of the aviation and aerospace industry as a whole. These will be the leaders who shape the future of United. As with any family, the women of our airline will help us chart the best course forward.