The California-based Jet Card seller says it has over six times more female executives than the industry average, and it’s good for business
There are 35 companies selling Jet Cards and exactly zero have female CEOs. While that may not be surprising it what has been a male-dominated industry, XOJET recently spotlighted on its blog how under the stewardship of its Chairman and CEO Bradley Stewart, the company is helping women move into senior level executive positions.
SVP of Human Resources Michelle Bauman says XOJET “is built on company values of integrity, collaboration, compassion, and continuous improvement.” The result she says is a plethora of senior female leadership, including Michelle, Rebecca Kodesh (VP of Scheduling), Renee Aivaliklis (VP of Client Services), Lezlea List (Regional VP of Sales), Danielle Talbott (Regional VP of Sales), Kriste Hauswirth (Director of Operations), Christy Hutchison (Operations Business Manager), and Susanne Kelly (Assistant Chief Pilot).
Women make up 33% of the management positions at XOJET compared to 5% of the industry, the company says. Ten percent of XOJET pilots are women, close to double the nationwide average for professional pilots.
The blog discusses what’s the driving force behind this female ascent? And how did these groundbreaking women smash the glass ceiling in an industry habitually led by males?
Hiring is a key part of the equation. The company says after years of fine-tuning its culture and hiring practices, XOJET has honed in on exactly the type of individual who can thrive in the company’s fast-paced, performance-driven environment. They’re seasoned aviation professionals, fierce competitors, and skilled communicators, but most importantly, they’re great human beings.
“At XOJET, you not only have to be good at your job, you have to be a good person,” says Bauman. “This is the same for every position and person. You have to care about others and you have to put people first. When we interview someone, if the only thing they tell us about is how good they’re going be at the job, they probably won’t be a good fit at XOJET. Here that is not enough. We want someone who is authentic and is invested in supporting others. The men and women at XOJET embody that.”
“Traits that were traditionally labeled feminine—being family-oriented, having strong communication, using more teamwork—are actually becoming understood as powerful drivers of success in any company,” says Susanne Kelly, one of XOJET’s pilots. Kriste Hauswirth, an XOJET executive who also captains both the Challenger 300 and Citation X, sees it as a legitimate competitive advantage within the industry. “From flight operations to sales to maintenance,” she says, “having a more diverse workforce makes us successful. It gives us an edge that other companies may not have.”
To read more on XOJET’s formula for breaking the glass ceiling in private aviation, click here.