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Growing up

Tags: Women   World Cargo Symposium   Faces   Cargo industry

Oliver Evans on Monday, March 25, 2013 2:15 PM

Do you remember the days when we were boys in a, well, boyish industry? How hard-nosed we were, how tough-talking, how shoulder- clapping and steady- drinking? How we used to talk aeroplanes, old and new, like some of us and others talk shiny cars?
Those were the days…
Then our topics changed, from good ol’ hardware to software, from mechanics to electronics, from full freighters to e-freight, and the new topics were suddenly interesting for men and women alike, and our industry began to attract the other gender. In rather small numbers, true, but it was a start.
And the times kept a-changing ever after, in favour of a higher share of female colleagues in our industry – albeit with the slow pace of history which makes trends so hard to detect unless you pause and look back.
That is what I did as I glanced at last week’s Doha WCS conference.
(Wo)Man, we´ve come a long way indeed! A long way from that all-male, testosterone- fuelled boys’ club we had been for the longest time.
Forget (well, not really, but in terms of “top ten small-talk issues”) payload and wingspan and Triple Seven versus A-350 and “what´s the best burger joint in – wherever”. Today it’s all about people, leadership, training. We are now almost as fluent talking soft skills, teamwork, motivation and talent scouting as we once were discussing full freighters versus bellies. But most important of all: we are much, much better today at inviting the - at least - equally smart, and (as many say) better half of mankind, to our industry and events.
Make no mistake, much too often it is still no piece of cake being a woman in our industry –but our (male) focus has shifted significantly. The opening and closing plenary at the WCS, the FACES initiative and not least the ever increasing level of civility and politeness among our air cargo crowd are clear indicators of that fundamental sea change.
A change that comes down to this:
Just as we as individuals have learned to respect, trust and even look up to women in our private lives, we finally do so as an industry.
And we are much better for it.
Now that is what I call growing up.
Thank you for tuning in.

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Published by Kroviniu pervezimas on Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:05 PM
I remember...I remember all these days being a boy.
Published by Mary Oborn on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:32 PM
Hello Oliver, Being raised by a Japanese mother where men are king, having 1 father, 2 step-fathers, 3 brothers, 1 husband, 2 male dogs and a male manager, the testosterone runs rampant in my life. After joining Swiss, I realized quickly that all the station managers in the USA were all men! I've been in this industry a long time and it's long overdue but refreshing to see women finally in positions of power both on the airline side as well as the freight forwarder side. Thanks for recognizing and publically acknowleding the contribution of my fellow female colleagues in our industry. It's refreshing to know that the leader of Swiss WorldCargo believes that we can contribute to the success of our company and division.. Not to mention, I'm sure your wife and daughter helped in swaying your way of thinking! Thanks again for writing; I always enjoy reading your blogs. Have a great day. Mary

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