The life-saving charity, which covers East Anglia from its two bases in Norwich and Cambridge, is marking the 2021 IWD by bringing together women from across the organization to highlight the opportunity for more women in frontline air ambulance roles. The pre-hospital emergency medicine world is still widely considered to be male dominated. The aviation industry is even less diverse, with male pilots making up 95 per cent of all commercial pilots in the UK.
The group will discuss this issue in a live, open, virtual panel discussion on 8 March with the aim to encourage, celebrate and inspire the next generation and spark meaningful conversations around equality. The event can be accessed from the EAAA website and will be streamed live on the EAAA Facebook page. More than half of the charity’s directors and senior managers at EAAA are female. However, when it comes to the charity’s frontline teams, these are largely made up of male colleagues. The divide is as follows: paramedics: 17 male and three female, doctors: 30 male and 14 female and pilots: 17 male and one female.
‘Both men and women are brilliant at the job’
Dr Pam Chrispin, Deputy Medical Director at EAAA said: “I’m incredibly proud to have represented women in pre-hospital emergency medicine during my career as, unfortunately, it is still an area where not as many female doctors, paramedics or pilots seem to be. Both men and women can be brilliant at the job, but it would be wonderful to have a more even mix and for a woman not to be seen as ‘unusual’ in our line of work.
“I feel we have a responsibility to raise awareness in this area and improve equality for the next generation. We hope men and women will come away from this event feeling inspired by the range of stories and experiences they will have heard and that this virtual event will help to open up more conversations about equality in lots of different settings.”
More women should work in aviation
Henrietta Davies, Pilot at EAAA, added: “Being a helicopter pilot is an incredible job. I knew I wanted to be a pilot since I was 12 and love what an exciting and dynamic job it is. I have been surprised by how few female pilots there are, and I would like to see more women working in aviation and enjoying this type of career. This event is a brilliant chance to highlight the pathways to careers that are often male orientated, to inspire and encourage the next generation of women into these great roles.”
Elsewhere, to celebrate IWD, the work of women at air charter specialist Chapman Freeborn is being celebrated.