JetBlue announced plans to launch new internal career development programs that reaffirm its commitment to crewmembers and support its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. These new pathways focus on creating greater access to select career paths, fostering equity by removing barriers to entry and increasing representation in senior leadership.
JetBlue is launching two new development programs focused on three career trajectories: 1) a new pathway from frontline operational jobs to corporate services roles, and 2) opportunities for crewmembers to pursue careers as pilots or aircraft maintenance technicians.
The pathway from the operation to corporate services is designed to help nurture, develop and grow future leaders. This path will include hands-on experience including a mix of classroom learning and support, and two rotational job placements, based on business need, with job placement assistance upon completion of the program.
The pilot and aircraft maintenance technician gateway programs will alleviate some of the known barriers to entry for these careers such as financing and fears of leaving a permanent job, while adding some certainty and a defined pathway to the process.
“We created these initiatives because at JetBlue our crewmembers and culture are key to our success,” said Mike Elliott, chief people officer, JetBlue. “Our new initiatives will help remove some of the barriers candidates may face so we can better help talent continue to grow. Realizing we don’t all start from the same place, equity and accessibility are at the center of our new crewmember development efforts. These new programs will help us build a more diverse internal pipeline.”
These pathways join JetBlue’s other development programs like JetBlue Scholars, its employer-sponsored college degree program, and its Gateway Select pilot training initiative, which have proven valuable for crewmember growth.
JetBlue’s evolved DEI strategy – Increasing representation in senior leadership
Crewmember feedback was part of the impetus for JetBlue to reexamine and evolve its DEI strategy, which now concentrates on three areas: people, sourcing and brand. JetBlue’s DEI strategy includes an investment in crewmembers’ development, retention and growth like the two pathways programs, as well as long-term efforts to engage and work with minority and women owned businesses (MWBE), and more.
JetBlue’s goal is to reflect the diverse communities and cultures it serves in all aspects of our airline. While JetBlue is a fairly diverse organization overall, this representation decreases significantly in corporate services and is even less in senior leadership roles. As a result, JetBlue is making a significant commitment to diversity its leadership, including:
- Doubling its race and ethnic minority representation at the officer and director level, from 12.5 percent today to 25 percent by the end of 2025
- Increasing its representation of women at the officer and director level, from 32 percent today to 40 percent by the end of 2025
“Diversity affects our ability to attract and retain top talent, while a more inclusive workplace drives better decision-making and innovation. Our greatest area of improvement is within our officer and director positions where the racial and ethnic composition has remained limited in growth. We can do better. With these commitments, and new programs we’re cultivating a more diverse workforce and charting a path to meet these objectives for both our crewmembers’ development as well as business’ success,” Elliott continued.