Air France issued this statement:
- A strong and long-standing commitment to gender equality in the workplace;
- Key partnerships to fight sexism, the education of young girls and the feminization of professions;
- Spontaneous initiatives carried out by staff on March 8, including flights with all-female crews.
Air France is one of the few companies run by two women, a Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and a female CEO.
“Beyond the exception and the symbol, I am convinced that companies that are committed to gender equality are the most competitive, attractive and innovative companies. Our responsibility is to be fully involved. This is the role of the many actions carried out by Air France” said Anne-Marie Couderc, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Air France and Air France-KLM.
“The 89/100 score for the Air France gender equality professional index is a first good result but we must not reduce our efforts. We still have a long way to go, with the future recruitment of female pilots, engineers, technicians, digital specialists etc. thanks to the attitude of each man and woman in the company, whose desires to promote gender diversity in all sectors and professions” said Anne Rigail, Air France CEO.
Air France has a long-standing commitment to gender diversity and professional equality between men and women. Aware of its role, Air France is committed to promoting professional equality within its teams, but also to boosting a positive dynamic in the regions where it operates.
A longstanding commitment to equality
Air France is an advocate for equal pay for men and women. Since 2002, this notion has been officially integrated into its policy. Since 2008, Air France has undertaken wage catch-up measures to reduce the pay gap between men and women within the company. In 2018, Air France signed its 5th three-year agreement with its social partners on gender equality in the workplace. Today, the company is continuing along this line to achieve the objective of equal pay for comparable work, seniority, and skills.
A score of 89/100 for the gender equality index
On March 1, 2019, in line with its legal obligations, Air France published its index on professional equality between men and women. Air France obtained a score of 89/100, the minimum threshold set by the government being 75/100. This result reflects the commitment and work of all Air France staff to achieve true professional equality and is an encouragement to continue these efforts.
Promote an inclusive workplace and put an end to sexism
In society and in companies, while there has been real progress in terms of professional equality, gender stereotypes persist. This is one of the main focus areas for Air France, which in 2017 had already introduced an in-house campaign called “#Osonsledire”, encouraging staff to share the sexist remarks they hear on a daily basis.
In 2019, Air France is continuing its actions and is conducting additional efforts to put an end to everyday sexism in the workplace.
As such, Air France has signed the Diversity Charter and joins 30 major French companies in the #StOpE initiative, supported by the government (for more details, please visit https://www.charte-diversite.com/linitiative-stope-contre-le-sexisme-ordinaire-en-entreprise). In this context, the company plans to carry out regular initiatives throughout the year to put an end to words and gestures that can consciously or unconsciously delegitimize or belittle women in their professional development.
Creating Opportunities for Women in Male-Dominated Industries
At Air France, women are also pilots, engineers, general managers, mechanics, and hold many other positions still too often associated with men. Growth in women’s employment in male-dominated industries is a fundamental aspect of professional equality and Air France promotes access for women to all professions and encourages women of all ages to follow these professional paths.
Air France promotes women in technical professions, in particular as part of the “Feminizing Airline Professions” event that has been running for several years during the Paris Air Show. Since 2017, Air France has also been a partner of the “Ellesbougent” (Girls on the move) Association to promote diversity at the career guidance stage. More than 50 female sponsors are involved, particularly in the fields of aeronautical maintenance, IT and digital technology, to take part in various actions with secondary school girls and students and inspire them for the future. In addition, as girls’ education is the key to giving them the opportunity to choose their professional future, the company is committed through the actions of the Air France Foundation to several associations around the world working to promote the education of girls and young women.
In the same vein, Air France is also joining forces with the “Journée de la Femme Digitale” to be held in Paris on April 17, where Anne Rigail, Air France CEO, will be the sponsor of this 7th edition on the theme “They are changing the world”.
In order to break down barriers for women in the workplace, women should have access to the highest levels of responsibility in the company. In order to promote their career progress, Air France organizes coaching and support initiatives. With 35.5% of female managers for ground staff, 55.5% of women on the Board of Directors and 28.6% of women on the Executive Committee, Air France aims to achieve real gender diversity in positions of responsibility, giving priority to skills.
Women for Tomorrow
This network, called Women for Tomorrow (WoTo) was the brainchild of several women in the company who wanted to create a place for exchange, with meetings, debates, workshops, etc. to promote women in the company and strengthen gender diversity. On March 8, 2019, the network will celebrate its first anniversary.
Fun initiatives to put women in the spotlight
On March 8, on International Women’s Day, Air France will demonstrate its commitment to equality in the workplace via numerous special events that will take place in France. As flight is a time of pleasure and relaxation, these events have been designed in a festive spirit. They are the hallmark of everyone’s commitment to diversity in all its forms within Air France. In the boarding lounges and in the Business lounges, special treatment has been arranged for female customers, from priority boarding to the distribution of roses and chocolates, all of which are designed to make customers smile on this special day.
Finally, as the company’s flag bearers, all-female crews (flight attendants and pilots) have been formed on a voluntary basis. Seven all-female crews will operate flights on departure from all over France on the long, medium and short-haul networks, highlighting Air France’s commitment to women’s rights throughout the world.