Women in Aviation & Aerospace Committee
JENNY BODY, OBE FRAeS, BECOMES FIRST FEMALE RAeS PRESIDENT
For the first time since it was founded in 1866, the world’s oldest aeronautical organisation has a female President. Jenny Body, who was the highest-ranking female aerospace engineer at Airbus UK by the time of her retirement, took on the mantle of President of the Royal Aeronautical Society at the Annual Banquet on May 15 at the InterContinental Hotel London Park Lane.
The dinner, which attracted close to 500 guests representing over 150 companies from across the aviation and aerospace community, provided a fitting setting for Jenny to receive the presidential chain of office from out-going President Phil Boyle. (Photo right: Jenny with top table guests)
Jenny has pledged that she will focus on three areas during her Presidential year - technology, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and diversity. Prior to her election as President Elect, she was vice chairman of the Society’s Learned Society Board and its Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee as well as an elected member of the Council.
In her inaugural speech as President (Left), she said: “I want to support the Society to become as diverse as our industry aspires to be with initial focus on gender and age. Parachuting women onto company boards is not enough. The industry - and the Society - cannot afford to ignore 50% of the population. The age demographic of the Society is unbalanced and I will be urging corporate partners to see involvement with the Society locally and nationally as positive continuing professional development for their younger staff.”
In the press release announcing her presidency, Jenny said the development of STEM skills in schools was critical to future economic success and the Society has an important role to play. “I strongly endorse the Society’s activities such as Cool Aeronautics and the Boeing-backed Schools Build a Plane programme. We will continue to work with the industry partners to co-ordinate and develop the projects and funding which will support STEM in schools and colleges.”
Clare Walker CRAeS, chair of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee, said “We congratulate Jenny on her election as President of the Royal Aeronautical Society and know she will achieve great success during the coming 12 months. She has dedicated her entire life to the profession of aerospace engineering and will continue to inspire others to do the same.”
Jenny’s long and successful career in the aerospace industry began in 1971, as a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate apprentice with British Aerospace, which eventually, in 2001, became Airbus, the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturer. Always at the forefront of technological development, Jenny played a key role in her company’s transformation into Airbus and in its continuing success.
Working with Government and other industry leaders, Jenny established the multi-million pound UK Aerospace Research and Technology (R&T) programme, designated ‘Next Generation Composite Wing’. In 2010, Jenny retired from Airbus as Head of R&T Business Development in the UK, and was later awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to engineering.
JENNY BODY SHORTLISTED IN WOMEN 1ST SHINE AWARDS
New RAeS President Jenny Body has been shortlisted in two categories in the Women 1st Shine Awards: Women of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award. The Awards are being presented at a dinner at the 5-star Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square in London on June 19 following the Women 1st Conference. For more information on the conference, click on www.women1st.co.uk/conference
At last year’s awards, easyJet Chief Executive Carolyn McCall was named Woman of the Year and, together with WAAC Chairman Clare Walker, was welcomed as members of the club of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in travel, passenger transport, hospitality and tourism.
CAA DIRECTOR GRETCHEN HASKINS TO DELIVER AMY JOHNSON LECTURE
Gretchen Haskins, who was appointed Group Director Safety Regulation at the Civil Aviation Authority in April 2010, is to deliver the third Amy Johnson Named Lecture on Monday July 8 in the Boeing Lecture Theatre at 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ. For more information go to the Amy Johnson Lecture page.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE TACKLES THE CHALLENGES OF THE NEXT 50 YEARS
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary this year of the first woman in space – Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (Right) – the annual conference organised by the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Committee sets out to tackle the challenges of the next 50 years in aviation, aerospace and space.
As usual, the conference boasts a wide variety of speakers, many of them women, who will talk about unmanned aerial systems, 3D printing, supersonic flight, nanotechnology, space flight and how industry can ensure it will have the best workforce to meet future challenges.
The conference is open to anyone in aviation, aerospace and space – regardless of age or gender. For more information, go to our WAAC Conference page.
RAeS SIGNS ROYAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING DIVERSITY CONCORDAT
The Royal Aeronautical Society was one of the first PEIs (Professional Engineering Institutions) to agree to sign a voluntary Concordat drawn up by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to improve diversity in engineering. The Society’s Council unanimously approved a proposal to sign the Concordat at its 5 November 2012 meeting and duly signed the document on May 7.
Other institutions which also signed the Concordat were the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Chemical Engineers, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, Institute of Physics, The Institution of Engineering and Technology and RAEng itself.
Outlining the business case, the Concordat states that the desire to increase the diversity of the engineering profession is in response to changing demographics in the UK working population coupled with a forecast shortage in engineering skills. This has prompted a renewed focus on addressing diversity to ensure the profession continues to attract and appeal to aspiring engineering technicians and engineers and those who are yet to consider engineering careers.
“To increase diversity through inclusive practice, PEIs need to demonstrate their commitment to equality and diversity principles, develop an understanding of the diversity profile of their members and registrants and take action to ensure activities, policies, practices and processes do not inadvertently act as barriers to participation and inclusion,” the Concordat says.
The document argues that professional bodies and other organisations operating within and across engineering will be most effective in improving the diversity of the profession when they work in partnership to achieve common aims through co-operation.
RAeS has also been working with RAEng on a research project, jointly being undertaken by RAeS, IMechE and The IET, to look at the reasons for lapsing membership, with particular reference to diversity. The research is one of three diversity projects being funded by RAEng through its Diversity in Engineering campaign.
The results of the lapsing membership research will be published later this year.
The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Women in Aviation & Aerospace Committee (WAAC) was established in 2009 to encourage more youngwomen to consider aviation and aerospace as a worthwhile and exciting career. It also exists to provide support for women already working in all sectors of aviation and aerospace.
This website has been created to allow the WAAC to keep you informed and up to speed on all our activities and events. Use the tab list on the left to visit our pages of information, press 'Women in Aviation' to return here.
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