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Home » Women in STEM » The aviation industry offers exciting career opportunities

Rebecca Yue

Assistant Vice President, Marketing, Jackson Square Avaiation

Gemma Loder

Head of Capital Markets, Jackson Square Aviation

The value of a multi-skilled workforce means a STEM background can open up new career opportunities in a wide range of different industries.

Aviation finance is not an obvious STEM career, but it offers an exciting future for those interested in STEM. “We purchase aircraft and lease them to the airlines. In layman terms, we’re landlords of aircraft,” explains Rebecca Yue, adding that it’s a dynamic industry where no two days are the same.

Transferable STEM skills

With a background in chemistry and teaching, Yue was ready for a new challenge. Pairing her transferable STEM skill set with a Masters in aviation finance helped her make the transition into aircraft leasing. “It’s about knowing and identifying the skills gained from STEM. The skill set you have from working in a lab to going into finance – it’s all there,” says Yue. “It can really open up a whole world of exciting opportunities.”

STEM in aviation finance

Gemma Loder’s path into aviation finance started with an interest in STEM subjects at school, which led her to pursuing a degree in finance, international business and economics. “I planned to move into finance as I think it’s a good balance between the practical application of mathematics and the science courses. For aviation in particular, it’s always been a technology that interested me. I still think it’s amazing the technology behind aircraft and the way that supports globalisation.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion are really important.

Rebecca Yue

Diversity in the aviation industry

Companies are increasingly valuing the ability to ‘think outside the box’ that comes from a multi-skilled workforce. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are really important,” says Yue. “This includes neuro-diversity. It’s also about people’s different experiences and backgrounds and bringing it all together.”

While senior positions in the aviation industry are mostly occupied by men, Yue notes this is changing as more women enter the sector. “I think we’ll see changes in gender diversity in the aviation finance industry. It’s just going to take a bit more time as we don’t have as many females in the pipeline just yet.”

Supporting sustainability goals

Fostering a sustainable future for air transport has become increasingly important for the aviation industry. Jackson Square Aviation (‘JSA’) set up a sustainability committee to discuss sustainable solutions and to create an internal focus on ESG. JSA is rated as number one aircraft lessor on IBA’s Efficiency Spotlight.

“We primarily invest in more fuel-efficient, new technology aircraft,” says Loder. “We also look at reducing the carbon intensity of the current technology fleet including modifications to make aircraft more aerodynamic, or alternative fuel sources.”

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