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.
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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.