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2021 CWIA Symposium Report

The CWIA is an organization that represents Canadian Women In Aviation. It was an honour to be selected and to be invited to be participate in the 2021 symposium.  The symposium was conducted on October 19, 21 & 24 2022.

The CWIA originally started in 1991 with 3 females and today it has grown to about 1400 women meeting approximately every 2 years.

It continues to be a network of discussion by strong opinionated women all over Canada in aviation about how to improve the industry. It’s a diverse organization with a range of different gender and sexual orientation.

The pandemic continues to have an impact on aviation. Throughout the pandemic Covid continues to play the largest cause of decline in passenger flow which in turn impacts the jobs in the aviation industry. Studies have shown Women in the aviation industry were impacted the most.

The aviation industry has had the most drastic decline in passenger demand as airlines were forced to cut capacity drastically. Passengers flow fell and remained at a historic low. Thousands of employees lost their jobs or were placed on layoffs. This decline was harder than any previous crises.

Canada faced the worst of the pandemic than other countries because we run one of the larger domestic markets.

The  impact on aviation has  shown to be larger than the  9/11, Sars, and financial crisis.

The pandemic has proven that women face the most difficulties as their responsibilities continued to grow whether they had to take care of elderly parents, homeschool their children due to the lock downs while continuing to deal  with all aspects of every day living.

Women put their careers on hold to care for loved ones and make a significant financial sacrifice by reducing work or taking time off. This effected 1 out of 7 women.

Women stopped saving or reduced in savings as a direct consequence of child care or responsibilities. This effected 1 out of 3 women.

Women in the workplace face racism and identity barriers and have to find guidance and awareness to help each another. Internal education is important to manage the needs and responsibly of making a fair and safe workplace.

Women need to have a sense of belonging and a comfortable work environment. We need to set up committees to assist women in facing these challenges of systematic racism.

Women need to overcome hidden barriers and movements through changes in polices. We Also need to have a good organization and communication. Bring value by education and conversation to build a sub stainable-change for the better.

Airports are the core footnotes and connecting points for all passengers of different countries. It’s an industry of evolving technology of multicultural employees. It’s a diversity of experiences of different perspectives

In conclusion, your workplace should and needs to be a safe environment for all.

Jasvinder Virdi, Caterina Barone, Ayan Abdulle & Sanja Lasica