Women Leaders in Focus at NBAA

Retired Naval pilot shares leadership strategies

Hillary O’Connor
Women are known for being better networkers than their male counterpartsNBAA photo

Men still outnumber women in the aviation industry. They make up less than 10 percent of the pilot workforce for example. Hillary O’Connor Mueri chief legal officer for Intrepid Analytics led a session at last week’s NBAA Convention to examine the attitudes regarding women in the business, as well as a discussion of both why and how to increase representation of women in leadership positions. The session explored the skills, attitudes and networks available to help advance women leaders.

Having spent most of her life in a male-dominated career, O’Connor Mueri, a retired Naval flight officer, offered insights on how unbalanced gender representation affects both women and companies. “When women see other women in leadership positions, they see that they can make it,” she said. “When you have a company culture that is supportive of women, you have an easier time retaining them.”

She stressed that women can further their careers by networking and taking advantage of mentorships at their place of employment or help to organize those relationships. She called on companies to do their part to create environments where women are equally represented and challenged them to look closely at how they create job descriptions to be sure the language isn’t unconsciously excluding women candidates. She cited the requirement for an MBA at some companies when a master’s degree in management would suffice. Men traditionally earn about 2/3 of the MBAs in the U.S. while women earn just over half the degrees in management.