The Year of Inclusion in Aviation

Ireland is globally recognised as a leading hub for aviation. This vital sector includes industry leaders in each of the core aviation segments. As the industry rebuilds following the impact of COVID-19, a key challenge is in building and developing a more inclusive and diverse workforce. This is vital for leveraging diversity of thought and building a sustainable pipeline of talent into the future.

In response to this challenge, industry, supported by government, and in partnership with the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Aviation Department within the DCU Business School, has committed to delivering the ‘Year of Inclusion in Aviation’. Established in 2019, the initiative aims to build awareness, enhance understanding and foster collaboration in the industry. As a result of COVID-19, core activity was paused during 2020, with a resumed focus in 2021.

Research to Establish a Benchmark around Inclusion and Diversity in the Aviation Sector in Ireland 

We are delighted to commence a body of quantitative research examining the culture of inclusion and diverse representation within aviation.  We will also examine expectations around the future of work both from an individual and organisational perspective given the impact of COVID-19. The first research of its kind within the aviation industry Ireland, it seeks input from the five segments of the aviation industry including airlines, airports, MRO, aircraft leasing and manufacturing. The insights will inform the development of an action plan to enhance knowledge and capacity to foster inclusive working environments that are future ready. Click here to read more and to take part. Email for more information and to get involved.

DCU and Aviation Industry Inclusion Advisory Committee

The DCU Centre of Excellence established ‘The DCU and Aviation Industry Inclusion Advisory Committee’ in 2019. The purpose of the Committee is to build and grow knowledge and awareness of diversity and inclusion across the aviation industry, with an initial focus on building gender balance.


To build an inclusive industry, where everyone can be their authentic self, leveraging different points of view to achieve business success


Drive an inclusive approach to diversity across all sectors of the Irish aviation industry

Membership of the Advisory Committee

Membership of the Advisory Committee is based on ensuring representation for key stakeholders across all segments of aviation in Ireland.

  • Amelia Anderson, Chairperson, (Co-founder and President of AWAR)
  • Joseph O’Malley, Director and Senior Programme Manager, Boeing
  • Lucie Harwood, Director of Treasury, Tax and Insurance, Aer Lingus
  • Brian Drain, Chief People Officer, Dublin Airport Authority
  • Irena Badelska, AWAR Board Member
  • Gillian Kelly, Consulting Partner, KPMG
  • Rachel Hussey, Partner, Arthur Cox – 30% Club representative
  • Orla Benson, Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI representative)
  • Cathy Mannion, Commissioner, Commission for Aviation Regulation
  • Ronan Gallagher, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
  • Deirdre Forrest, Irish Aviation Authority
  • Paul Sheridan, CEO, AMCK Aviation

DCU Research and Advisory Team

  • Dr Marina Efthymiou, Assistant Professor in Aviation Management, DCU Business School
  • Pippa Halley, Research and Project Lead, DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Dr Cathal Guiomard, Assistant Professor Aviation Management, DCU Business School
  • Andrew MacIntrye, Adjunct Professor for Aviation Management, DCU Business School

The Aviation Industry Year of Inclusion Overview

  • The Aviation Industry Year of Inclusion, is an initiative driven by the Advisory Committee
  • The initiative will be a kick-off point to continue to drive inclusion across the industry and not a once-off activity
  • It will provide a baseline of knowledge and awareness for the industry to drive diversity and inclusion with an initial focus on building gender balance
  • It will share good practice and provide a roadmap for continued progress
  • The activities will be led by the DCU Aviation Faculty and DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Funding for the initiative will come from industry participants, led by Advisory Committee members

Outputs During the Year of Inclusion

The Advisory Committee has set four goals to establish a firm foundation for continued activity. Outputs during the Year of Inclusion will be driven across each of these four goals, underpinned by a public commitment in the form of an Inclusion Pledge, which commits signatories to demonstrating inclusion in their organisations through specific actions. This may develop over time into a Voluntary code for industry, linked to Balance for Better Business goals.


Scope the current state and use data to provide a benchmark and to drive change


Provide thought leadership through events and workshops to build inclusion

Advisory and Consulting

Leverage existing knowledge to accelerate progress


Build knowledge and action plans through targeted and specific development

Thank you to our founding and supporting partners:

Aer Lingus

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

AMCK Aviation

Irish Aviation Students Association

Dublin Airport Authority


For further information:

DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion