Friday, 8 March 2019

"We most not reduce our efforts. We still have a long way to go!" Says Tribune Anne Rigail of Air France on international womens day

Air France has a long-standing commitment to gender diversity and professional equality between men and women. Aware of its role, Air France is committed to promoting professional equality within its teams, but also to boosting a positive dynamic in the regions where it operates.

Air France is also one of the few companies run by two women, a Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and a female CEO.

“Beyond the exception and the symbol, I am convinced that companies that are committed to gender equality are the most competitive, attractive and innovative companies. Our responsibility is to be fully involved and to make commitments. This is the role of the many actions carried out by Air France.” Anne-Marie Couderc, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Air France.


Tribune Anne Rigail, Air France CEO: "Throughout my career at Air France, I have never particularly campaigned for women’s rights. And today, on March 8, I could take umbrage at celebrating my mere existence as a woman. Because as the women of Air France and as women in a more general sense, we are much more than that. 

However, in recent years, I have understood that this is a struggle that men and women must continue to fight. If this is the only way to change the status quo, then yes, I want to be part of it! Yes, I would like women to have easier access to so-called male-dominated professions. Yes, women must be offered the same career opportunities, the same chance of promotion and pay rise, for everyone with comparable skills. Yes, I would like to create vocations for young women in the Ile-de-France region where we are based, and more broadly, in France. If it is by coming forward, by being visible, that it will bring about change in society, then yes, I would like to set an example.

As head of Air France for a few months now, this combat is very important to me. Over the past few years, we have introduced an ambitious plan for gender equality in the workplace. Beyond the broad statements of intent, our company is now subject to an obligation of results. It is measurable, concrete and binding. We can be proud of it!

We have also recently signed a charter with thirty other companies to fight “ordinary” sexism at work. Different correspondents will be appointed within Air France. For young women, we have a partnership with the association “Elles bougent” (Girls on the move) to encourage young girls, principally high school students, to enter technical and often predominately male professions. Today, we are celebrating the first anniversary of “Women for Tomorrow”, the first network for the women of the Air France group, open to all staff who wish to get involved in promoting gender equality in the workplace, equal opportunities and diversity.  

Our company supports equal opportunities for men and women. And what better symbol than the all-female crews operating flights today. They remind us that women are already present in all sectors of activity at Air France. 

As you can see, we are making progress, and I am very pleased about that.  But we must not relent in our efforts. March 8 must, therefore, constitute a step on a path where there is still a way to go. We must continue to advance in terms of our future recruitments, our attitude towards each other, men and women, in the company, and our shared ambition to encourage diversity in all sectors and professions. I, of course, take my share of responsibility within the company’s management bodies. But on a broader level, I am appealing to your collective sense of responsibility. 

The freedom to choose one’s professional future is a struggle to which we are committed and can only win together!  An open mind, a sense of initiative, a caring attitude and respect… these universal values drive every one of us at Air France."

For gender equality as for all other forms of diversity. On March 8, let us take pride in being part of a company that respects the rights of the men and women that make up our workforce.

Air France is one of the few companies run by two women, a Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and a female CEO.

"Beyond the exception and the symbol, I am convinced that companies that are committed to gender equality are the most competitive, attractive and innovative companies. Our responsibility is to be fully involved. This is the role of the many actions carried out by Air France” said Anne-Marie Couderc, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Air France and Air France-KLM.

"The 89/100 score for the Air France gender equality professional index is a first good result but we must not reduce our efforts. We still have a long way to go, with the future recruitment of female pilots, engineers, technicians, digital specialists etc. thanks to the attitude of each man and woman in the company, whose desire is to promote gender diversity in all sectors and professions” said Anne Rigail, Air France CEO.

Air France has a long-standing commitment to gender diversity and professional equality between men and women. Aware of its role, Air France is committed to promoting professional equality within its teams, but also to boosting a positive dynamic in the regions where it operates.

Air France favours equal pay between men and women. And since 2002, this notion has been officially integrated into its policy. Since 2008, Air France has undertaken wage catch-up measures to reduce the pay gap between men and women within the company. In 2018, Air France signed its 5th three-year agreement with its social partners on gender equality in the workplace. Today, the company is continuing along this line to achieve the objective of equal pay for comparable work, seniority and skills.

On March 1, 2019, in line with its legal obligations, Air France published its index on professional equality between men and women. Air France obtained a score of 89/100, the minimum threshold set by the government being 75/100. This result reflects the commitment and work of all Air France staff to achieve true professional equality and is an encouragement to continue these efforts.

In society and in companies, while there has been real progress in terms of professional equality, gender stereotypes persist. This is one of the main focus areas for Air France, which in 2017 had already introduced an in-house campaign called "#Osonsledire", encouraging staff to share the sexist remarks they hear on a daily basis.

In 2019, Air France is continuing its actions and is conducting new actions to put an end to everyday sexism at work.

As such, Air France has signed the Diversity Charter and joins 30 major French companies in the #StOpE initiative, supported by the government. In this context, the company undertakes to carry out regular actions throughout the year to put an end to these words and gestures, which can consciously or unconsciously delegitimize or belittle women in their professional development.