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Government offers almost $3 million to promote women in aviation

written by Jake Nelson | April 11, 2024

Angela, a 2023 graduate of Aviation Australia’s Female Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (FAME) program. (Image: Aviation Australia)

The Federal Government is offering $2.9 million to support projects for women and girls in aviation.

As part of an open tender process, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts is seeking “impactful new projects”, which can be run through to June 2026, to promote female participation in the sector. Bids are open until 8 May.

“The department is calling on experienced suppliers to put in their bids for activities that will make a real difference for women already in the industry, those considering a career in our skies, as well as younger generations not yet fully aware of the possibilities,” the Department said in a press release.

“To be delivered under the successful Women in the Aviation Industry initiative, this funding will help support a strong and thriving aviation industry that attracts, trains and retrains women in an inclusive and respectful environment.”

The projects, which could range from upskilling to awareness programs, should aim to deliver on six action areas under the following three priorities:

  • Tap into the power of leaders to drive change and realise a culture of inclusion that promotes and supports diversity within the aviation industry
  • Increase visibility and awareness of the aviation industry and the unique and diverse career opportunities it offers women
  • Strengthen networks and collaboration across the aviation industry to drive innovation, share learning and optimise impact by aligning efforts


“This will build on the $1.3 million in activities announced under the initiative last month, and forms part of the Women in the Aviation Industry Initiative Strategic Action Plan,” the Department said.

Figures from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency last month revealed a median gender pay gap in air and space transport of 38.1 per cent for total remuneration and 37.7 per cent for base salary, around double the average across all industries, attributed to a higher proportion of men in better-paid piloting and engineering jobs.

Additionally, according to a landmark report in 2022, harassment and discrimination against women are key barriers stopping young people from taking up aviation careers.

The Barriers to the Pipeline report also said the “vast majority” of respondents indicated that the perception of male domination was a significant barrier to entry. It noted references to a “boys’ club mentality” and the “lack of support from male peers”.

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