DCU and the aviation industry have launched a year-long programme looking at diversity and inclusion in the sector. 

It specifically aims to increase the number of women in aviation in Ireland - particularly at senior levels. 

The programme is being led by DCU's Centre for Excellence for Diversity, established in 2018, but it was prompted by those in the industry itself.

The Irish aviation industry supports 42,000 people and recent research shows that about 30% of the workforce is female. 

Sandra Healy, director of the DCU Centre for Excellence for Diversity, said that the issue of gender imbalance in aviation was raised last year when Aer Lingus announced a programme that aimed to get more women to become pilots.  

However the industry here is about a lot more than the commercial airlines that people are most familiar with, especially given Ireland's place as a base for international aircraft leasing and aviation finance firms. 

According to Ms Healy, aviation is facing the same kinds of challenges as other industries when it comes to improving gender balance. 

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A lot of these are deeply ingrained in the culture and structure of the workplace, and so unpicking them will require careful consideration and hard work.

That work does offer a sizable reward however, for the individual employees as well as the companies themselves and the industry as a whole, Ms Healy added.