March 1 marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, a time for all of us across the United States to remember, honor, and celebrate the impactful contributions and earned accomplishments from women—past, present, and future.
While my role as Chief Digital Officer at United involves creating technology to ensure our employees have state-of-the-art tools to serve you, and delivering an experience in the United mobile app and on United.com that personalizes and streamlines your journey, my lifelong passion is mentoring and encouraging women to pursue technical careers, which are historically male-dominated.
Women’s History Month serves as a substantial reminder of the importance of preparing young people for rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). My passion for connecting young people to the STEM field and bringing diverse voices to the table is driven by the fact that a diversity of background, thought,
experience, and opinion is not only better for you, our customers, but also for our
employees and the communities where we work.
Throughout the pandemic, we never stopped innovating and investing for the future. For example, we launched the Travel Ready Center, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to streamline the testing and vaccine documentation requirements for international travel, and Agent on Demand, which allows customers to video chat with agents virtually from their mobile device so that they don’t have to wait in line for an agent.
The Mobile app also has a new group travel planning feature, the ability to shop by map, and contactless buy-on-board with either a saved credit card or a PayPal account. And if you check a bag online or through the app, you can now skip the line in the lobbies of many of our airports!
We believe that innovation is about both people and technology. On our Digital Technology team, we have an expression we like to use: “Inclusion propels innovation.” This philosophy drives how we work—from the composition of our teams to our technology investments to the way we design and roll-out new technology.
While we are deliberate in our celebration over the next 31 days, we also acknowledge the significant contributions that women make to United’s success year-round. In addition to technology, women hold the most senior roles in human resources, government affairs, sales, procurement, treasury, and cyber security. Our Chief Pilot is a woman, and women lead our hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles—to name just a few!
But we can do more. Every year, we sponsor Girls in Aviation Day across our hubs to
expose young girls to the incredible careers they can have in aviation.
That is also why, earlier this year, United made history when we opened the first airline-owned flight school—the United Aviate Academy—with the goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030, at least half of them women and people of color. Investments like these will allow us to truly transform the future of aviation.
At United, we are dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusion—being advocates for diverse voices and helping underrepresented groups find lifelong careers. As always, thank you for choosing to fly with United, and we look forward to serving you again soon.
Executive Vice President Technology and Chief Digital Officer