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International Women’s Day 2021

Gender Equality, Global, Sustainability

Jet Aviation’s leadership team chooses to challenge gender bias and celebrate women’s achievements

March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day dedicated each year to celebrate the achievements of women around the world, raise awareness of women’s equality, and rally for gender parity.

Based on the premise that each of us can challenge prevailing ideas and practices and thereby collectively change the status quo, this year’s campaign theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. The campaign is recognizable through photos of individuals with a hand raised high as if giving an oath, demonstrating their commitment to choose to challenge inequality.

We at Jet Aviation are committed to contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help shape a better world and we actively support Nr. 5 of their 17 SDGs — gender equality. As part of this commitment, we choose to challenge gender bias and inequality by aiming to increase women in leadership positions by 5%; supporting women-to-women mentoring programs; and providing thought leadership on Women in Aviation.

To celebrate women's achievements, we asked each member of the Jet Aviation Leadership Team to tell us which woman in a leadership role has or continues to inspire them.  Here's what they said:


David Paddock, Jet Aviation President

Janet Yellin grew up in New York City and has served with distinction in key global economic and policy making roles.  She received degrees from Brown University and Yale University, both in Economics.  Amongst other impactful positions, she has served as Chair of the US Federal Reserve and is the current US Treasury Secretary.  Ms. Yellen is a firm believer in lower unemployment, reducing debt, and climate action, all topics of heightened interest today.


Wim Buesink, Senior VP & Group Chief Financial Officer

Angela Merkel has now served over 15 years as Chancellor of Germany and leader of one of the major nations in the world. Her actions speak louder than her words; she leads without arrogance and without beating her fist on the table; all of these are admirable qualities.


Mike Dufault, Senior VP & Group General Counsel

I am choosing my Mom. While not a leader in the traditional sense, my Mom lead the way for a lot of women by attending law school in the 1970’s and eventually starting her own firm. She enjoyed law school so much that she convinced my Dad to attend. Years later, I, too, followed in her footsteps. I am very grateful for her influence on me!


Evie Freeman, VP Global Customer Standards and Service

My inspirational woman is Christina Lawford who is the CEO of DiamondAir International, the world’s leading commercial aviation meet and greet services company. She grew her company from scratch at the age of 18 and has been agile in changing with the market while continuing her work with Women In Travel. She offers victims of sex trafficking places within her organization. She spends every Christmas running a crisis shelter for the homeless and has won many awards for her inspirational leadership. Her dedication and drive is an inspiration to me. Whatever life throws at her, she comes out of it stronger.


Jane McVeigh, Senior VP Global Human Resources

Roberta Bondar is Canada’s first female astronaut and was part of the 1992 mission on board shuttle Discovery. She was also NASA’s head of space medicine for more than a decade. She is a pioneer that inspires young women to literally “reach for the stars.” 


Elouisa Dalli, Senior VP Global Marketing & Communications

Having been educated in a convent, I was surrounded by many traditionalists who generally encouraged us to pursue more female-dominated professions. But one teacher stands out for having broken a number of unspoken taboos with her fierce independence, passion for maths and science, and encouragement of young women to do the same. This, while coping with her own social ostracization amongst her peers. I live by her words to this day: “always reach for the moon, even if you hit a few lampposts along the way.” Thank you, Ms. B! You continue to inspire.


David Best, Senior VP Regional Operations Americas

Careers are made up of progressions and step changes. My career step change was to step up as Managing Director of a business’s European division. That break came from woman who was President of an international company which she led through successful growth – thank you Beth Haskins, always appreciated.


Stefan Benz, Senior VP Regional Operations EMEA

The women that inspire me most are
my three knowledgeable, creative, passionate, focused, and accurate colleagues — Evie, Jane, and Elouisa. Each of these three strong women live, share, motivate, and lead. That, combined with their humanity, their compassion and sensitivity, is what inspires me both professionally and personally.


Joe Reckling, Senior VP Regional Operations APAC

It’s important that gender equality is advocated, and this includes supporting our role models. This helps increase awareness of some of the difficulties women face in getting there due to gender inequality. There are numerous female leaders that inspire us, but one that inspires me is New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, whose effective leadership throughout Covid and the Australian bush fires has helped pave the way for other young women to follow her lead.



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