Zachary Brown

FO A300

EAT Leipzig, Europe

Inclusivity & respect

EPAN - European Pride in Aviation Network e.V.

Main aim of the charity

EPAN has two sides to the organisation. In the foreground the focus is to build, support and unite the entire LGBTQ+ aviation community around Europe and beyond. All are welcome, especially also allies (supporters not necessarily identifying within the LGBTQ+ spectrum) - EPAN's audience is anyone with an interest in aviation, from professional pilots to general aviation pilots, from flight attendants to mechanics, from air traffic controllers to airport workers. This sense of community provides a safespace where members and followers can be their authentic selves, where they may not be able to do so at home or in the workplace. Through a large offering of support, such as mentoring (both professional as well as mental well-being), networking and other benefits, members have the chance to be themselves without worrying about discrimination. In the "background", the organisation is working via advocacy to better the entire aviation industry. This involves networking and partnering with companies as well as regulators throughout the industry around Europe and providing them with guidance, support and education to increase awareness, ideally resulting in reforming policies and procedures which leads to making them more inclusive and therefore the employee being able to be their authentic self. EPAN unites the industry at round table events allowing the opportunity for networks, organisations and companies to exchange experiences and learn from each other. Additionally, EPAN participates in industry conferences and congresses or workshops to provide expertise regarding relative topics.

How the employee got involved and why

The aviation industry is still a very conservative industry in which it is not uncommon to face discrimination. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity can be experienced in all areas of the industry, whether professional or not. This includes but is not limited to flight schools, general aviation flying clubs, airlines, aviation companies... My main goal when I founded this organisation was and continues to be to support those identifying themselves within the wide LGBTQ+ spectrum while, at the same time, working together with industry companies, providing support and guidance to increase inclusion and therefore allowing those working there or engaging to be able to be their authentic self without fearing discrimination. I began doing this work in 2019 and my engagement extends beyond EPAN - I am also an active member of the diversity committee of our German pilot's association (VC) as well as a diversity ambassador for the transport sector with the European Commission.

What work does the employee do for charity

I am the co-founder and president of our not for profit organisation European Pride in Aviation Network (EPAN). I coordinate our volunteer team and actively maintain contact and network with not only our members but also our industry partners throughout Europe.

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