A recent White House executive order demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to DE&I: “As the nation’s largest employer, the federal government must be a model for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, where all employees are treated with dignity and respect.”
Similarly, NBAA and its board of directors are dedicated to increasing DE&I in business aviation. Why? Promoting DE&I is not only the right thing to do; doing so increases safety, facilitates workforce development and increases profitability, productivity and innovation.
Why DE&I Is Important
“Diversity in an organization creates diversity of thought,” explained Jo Damato, CAM, senior vice president of education, training and workforce development at NBAA. “When you only have the perspective of people who have the same backgrounds and experiences, you’re missing other perspectives that could spark creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial ideas.”
In addition, diversity helps organizations identify ways to save money, attract new audiences and build new business lines.
Josh Mesinger, vice president of Mesinger Jet Sales and co-chair of NBAA’s DE&I Working Group, said, “Research and experience show that consistently having more perspectives from people of different backgrounds and experiences leads to better business outcomes.”
How Diversity Impacts the Workforce
Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of Aviation Personnel International and co-chair of NBAA’s DE&I Working Group, encourages managers to recognize diversity as a solution to workforce shortages.
“The workforce is potentially the biggest issue impacted by diversity,” said Pickerel. “We can’t address our workforce challenges without addressing the fact that we need to include talent beyond our historical scope. Diversity, equity and inclusion can help organizations meet workforce development needs and improve retention.”
DE&I is important to safety, too. A positive safety culture relies on an inclusive culture. Pilots and other business aviation professionals who believe their opinions are valued will speak to authority. The trust and vulnerability critical to a positive safety culture is impossible without inclusion and equity. Individuals who feel excluded or as though their opinions aren’t valued often feel a sense of resignation.