Toulouse, 23 March 2017. Airbus launches three events to allow young girls to discover the professions open to them in the aeronautical industry, favouring the diversification of career paths, raising awareness of young people on the impact of stereotypes on their choice of career and promoting a greater gender mix and diversity in the workplace. For Airbus, diversity, in all its shapes and forms, is necessary and essential to strengthen its innovation, performance and commitment.
Even if the young women pursuing technical and scientific studies or reading an engineering degree at university represent just 15 to 20% of students, Airbus has nonetheless set itself the goal of having more than 30% women among the people it hires. To achieve this, it is essential to intervene at a very early stage, right from the first phases of career guidance, in the third and fourth years of secondary school, or later in sixth form.
Three major events for encouraging greater diversity and the feminisation of the historically masculine, aeronautical industry careers:
On 24 March Airbus is organising “Elles du Futur” (Women of the Future) in partnership with the local Education Authority in Toulouse. Some 80 third-year secondary school girls from priority education schemes and rural areas will be welcomed at Airbus for the day, to visit the production sites and, above all, to talk with female employees working as technicians and engineers at Airbus.
Additionally, on 31 March Airbus will be taking part in “Féminisons les métiers de l’aéronautique” (Let’s feminise aeronautical industry careers in partnership with the Airemploi association. Where some 20 secondary school girls will be invited for a day where female Airbus sponsors will present their work in small groups, talk about their careers, their past experience and potential professions.
The goal for Airbus is to promote aeronautical industry careers with female secondary school students and thus favouring the diversification of career orientations. This will also provide an opportunity to encourage professional callings, show that aeronautical professions are open to them and represent career opportunities that they can consider.
Alexia, aged 16, is today a fifth-year student at Lycée Airbus studying for a Professional Baccalaureate (A’ Levels) in Electrics and took part in the 2015 edition of “Elles du Futur”. She then chose aeronautical studies as her speciality. “I wasn’t familiar with the aeronautical sector, or with the professions it offers until I took part in “Elles du Futur”. I didn’t want to do academic studies, where the focus is too theoretical for me... Since the beginning of the school year I have discovered aircraft production. It’s really what I was looking for, our workshops are just like what we’ll be doing later on in industry.... In my year, there are 12 girls and 90 boys. It came as a bit of a shock to begin with because at secondary school it’s not like that, but we got on well with the boys right from the start… We need more initiatives like this for girls,” she adds.
Marine, aged 17, is in her final year at Lycée Stéphane Hessel in Toulouse studying for a diploma in Engineering Sciences, and she wants to embark on a scientific and technical higher education course next year. I chose scientific studies for my Baccalaureate because I was looking for something tangible. After secondary school, I came to the Open Day at Airbus where I met people who helped me to choose my current course of study. I don’t have a precise idea of the career path I’d like to take later, but I would like to do a two-year engineering course in physics, chemistry and engineering sciences. I can’t see myself doing anything else,” she explains.
A third initiative will also be proposed by Airbus: a mobile photo exhibition on the theme of diversity. #ENSEMBLE (#TOGETHER) is an interactive exhibition based on employee testimonials, combining photos and augmented reality. It proposes an enjoyable initiation, introducing young people to the issues of diversity. The exhibition will be visiting some 30 establishments, secondary schools, sixth forms, engineering colleges and universities all round France. It will begin at ISAE-SUPAERO on the 3 April.
Embracing diversity goes well beyond a societal and moral commitment for Airbus. It is the very basis of its identity. Airbus counts more than 135 nationalities and more than 20 different languages. And it’s thanks to an inclusive culture, founded on the viewpoints of a wide range of profiles that Airbus will achieve and go beyond its ambition to connect the world. It is therefore #ENSEMBLE that we will obtain the best results.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016, it generated revenues of € 67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as Europe’s number one space enterprise and the world’s second largest space business. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
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