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DEI Efforts

 

We have partnered with Women And Drones and the
Diversity Development Network of Canada (DDNC) on a series of DEI efforts, including the first-of-its-
kind Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion (DEI) 2021 Survey Report!

The UAS/AAM DEI Survey Report culminates more than eight months of work that began in July 2021. At that time, the three companies collaborated to develop and implement a national survey to understand the current DEI status within the UAS and AAM sector. 

 

The survey remained open between August 6 and September 17, 2021. It probed a range of topics, including respondent organizations’ UAS/AAM size, location, funding, identity group composition at all levels, as well as their available DEI efforts and initiatives. The survey also addressed respondent perceptions relating to DEI and willingness to participate in future change-making programs.

 

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), the world's only international technical society for engineers, scientists and others working to advance vertical flight technology, sponsored $50 gift cards in support of a random draw as an incentive for survey completion. Ultimately, over 1000 UAS/AAM industry professionals provided survey responses.

 

We then compiled and analyzed the data over the next several months. The data validated that women and other minority identity groups remain underrepresented in the UAS and AAM industry, particularly in leadership positions. The African American identity group consistently surveyed as the least represented across all employee categories (entrant, middle management, and leadership).

 

That said, respondents also expressed beliefs that DEI is important to the success of UAS/AAM and UAS/AAM-related businesses, that a lack of DEI would result in financial impacts to businesses and that it is important for the industry to understand the value DEI brings to the table. Perhaps most heartening, the data also indicated that the industry, as represented by respondents, desires change and that they are willing to help make that change happen. Specifically, almost all respondents expressed interest in participating in an UAS/AAM DEI Advisory Group (DAG) to provide industry input towards DEI, skills & competencies development, programming and training to ensure Industry relevance.

 

 

 

 

 

In late January of this year, our companies released a free downloadable preliminary summary, consisting of the top ten industry takeaways from the survey. 

 

As an additional lead up to the Report’s final release, Sharon Rossmark, CEO Women And Drones, participated in a VFS DEI panel , Zoldi appeared on VFS’ new DiversiFlite Podcast and Zoldi and Conway Diels presented to the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ Know Before You Fly Your Drone Workshop

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