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Airbus employees
The aerospace and defense industries in Europe are paying more attention to diversity in its workforce. (credit: Airbus)

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We need more diversity in the aerospace and defense workforce.

The sector has a high percentage of highly skilled and specialized professionals but the gender gap is considerable: only around 20% of employees are women. This is similar to other tech sectors in Europe, whose talent pool consists mainly of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates. It nevertheless causes shortages and mismatches, affecting the smooth functioning of its supply chains and its worldwide competitiveness.

The green and digital transitions are large-scale opportunities with a potential to improve social and economic outcomes. Yet they also pose the risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. Despite several important initiatives, a significant green and digital gender gap remains, limiting the equitable achievement of the benefits of the green and digital transformation. We need all talents at play to reach them, regardless of their gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation.

The Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space of the European Commission (DG DEFIS) is determined to take action and help make the workplace of the defense industry, aeronautics and space sectors a safe and thriving space for all.

The sector has a high percentage of highly skilled and specialized professionals but the gender gap is considerable: only around 20% of employees are women. This is similar to other tech sectors in Europe.

Among the initiatives put in place, it has launched a survey dedicated to the workforce of these sectors. By providing information on personal experiences, in complete anonymity, employers and employees alike can help get a comprehensive overview of the current reality in their workplaces.

The results of the survey will contribute to a collective reflection and be used as a starting point for developing targeted policies for concrete solutions at European level. I invite you to reply to the survey available at https://edefis.eu/EqualitySurvey until July 15, 2022. It takes you approximately takes 10–15 minutes to complete it.

The contribution of all stakeholders related to these industries, from companies working in the field to industry associations, think tanks, and research institutes is of vital importance to help ensure that people are not discriminated based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation.

It is up to all organizations, public and private companies, and civil society to work together to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) across Europe. Only a whole-of-society approach can guarantee that all corners of our society, no matter how small or big, can thrive within a fairer and more inclusive community.

We must make real progress together towards achieving true diverse and inclusive aerospace and defense sectors. Towards achieving this ambitious goal, you have a leading, vital role to play!


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