IBJ Podcast: Indy-based airline charting path to more diverse workforce


The U.S. airline industry isn’t just short of the pilots needed to meet travel demand. The demographic makeup of the industry’s pilot workforce remains overwhelmingly male and white.

Indianapolis-based Republic Airways, one of the largest regional airlines in America, has a vested interest in trying to stock its talent pipeline—not just with pilots but for other aviation careers as well, including maintenance. And Republic has made a concerted effort in recent years to recruit more women and people of color and to eliminate barriers that might stand in the way of successful careers at the company.

The airline’s initiatives include a three-day aviation career summit that in October attracted 1,100 attendees—including 750 students of color—from across the state. Republic is also in in the process of launching a campaign to raise $24 million to help 300 central Indiana students of color start careers in aviation.

For this week’s edition of the IBJ Podcast, host Mason King is joined by Rob Lowe, Republic’s vice president of people and culture, and Alisha Spires, senior manager of talent acquisition for pilot recruiting, to discuss the barriers that women and people of color face when they consider aviation careers, and what Republic is doing to widen those horizons.

Learn more about Republic’s diversity and recruiting activities in this story. And see why Republic won one of IBJ’s inaugural HR Impact awards here.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In, Spotify and anyplace you find podcasts.

You can also listen to these recent episodes:

IBJ Podcast: Could Nashville steal Indy’s conventions-and-events thunder with new stadium?

IBJ Podcast: Four important races to watch on Election Day

IBJ Podcast: Ben Lytle on navigating coming disruptions in tech, culture

IBJ Podcast: Pete The Planner has a frank message on accepting your future demise

IBJ Podcast: Rahal, Frye on why race teams are investing in Indy now

Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.

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