Women in Aviation and Logistics first mentorship scheme a success


The 27 mentees from the first Women in Aviation and Logistics mentorship project have successfully completed the program, reporting a boost in confidence and benefitting from networking with senior members of  the industry.

The inaugural 4-month scheme brought together 54 industry professionals representing airlines, airports, freight forwarders, shippers, ground handlers, tech, drone companies, and industry associations.

Picture caption: From left to right Justina Messeiller, Senior Consultant, Change Horizon; Vitaly Smilianets , Founder and CEO of Awery Aviation Software; Ariaen Zimmerman, Air cargo consultant; Michelle Lawrence, Director of Marketing, Airline Services International; Lesley Cripps, Director of Sales, CargoFlash; Glyn Hughes, Director General, TIACA; Donna Mullins, Vice President, Kale Info Solutions; Steven Polmans, VP Business Development and Free Zone Regulatory Affairs, Abu Dhabi Airports; Sarah Van Gelder, Cargo Community Solution Manager, Nallian; Céline Hourcade, Founder and Managing Director of Change Horizon and co-Founder of WAL

The initiative ran between January and May and was designed to support the development of talented women in aviation and logistics, offering them a different perspective in career development as well as opportunities to learn from diverse practices and cultures.

"This program was very well prepared, well framed, and with good communication in all steps of the process, A-class mentors and an uplifting community,” said Vanessa Hubert, Director, Revenue Optimization, DHL Aviation and WAL Mentee. 

“I am truly impressed by the program and very thankful for this opportunity.”

Among key achievements, mentees reported to have sharpened their leadership skills, expanded their network, been given opportunities to speak at industry conferences and in one case, successfully transitioned to a management role.

Although not in the original scope of the program, several mentors reported reverse-mentorship outcomes, receiving support for projects beyond their immediate employment, or broadening their perspectives on the needs of the new generation of talent.

The WAL mentorship program also gave rise to an in-company women mentorship program at a major American cargo airline.

“Inspiring positive change with concrete solutions is part of our DNA at WAL. Seeing how many mentorship participants plan to continue fostering their relationships and reaping the benefits in the years to come is immensely rewarding and provides us with a license to continue our work,” added Céline Hourcade, Founder and Managing Director of the consulting firm Change Horizon and co-founder of WAL.

“The need for such mentoring will only increase in the future as more and more women are joining our wonderful industry. We call businesses to take advantage of this growing talent group with more formal and informal mentoring. With the workforce shortage crisis this industry is facing right now, the need to attract diverse profiles is as urgent as ever.”

WAL plans to launch a second mentorship program in the autumn following continued interest from new candidates, as well as requests from some participants of the first program to take part in the scheme again.

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