Emma Henderson MBE

Former airline Captain & TV star turned award winning UK wide charity CEO

Captain Emma became a household name in the UK in 2019 after appearing in TV documentary "Inside the Cockpit". Through this and the work she does in schools, colleges and businesses promoting women as being "the other half of the talent pool" she has inspired hundreds of young people and especially young women to pursue a career in aviation.

In 2020, the forced grounding of flights inspired Emma to set up a well-being charity, powered by thousands of grounded aircrew, who volunteered to spend time in hospitals providing "tea and empathy" to NHS frontline staff.  The charity - Project Wingman Foundation Ltd - is still running 3 years on with Emma as CEO, and an ever increasing need to fulfil.  

Having hung up her wings and made an enormous career pivot from being one of fewer than 500 female airline captains IN THE WORLD to being founder and CEO of this widely acclaimed national charity, Emma talks with passion and authority about the importance of everyone having the same opportunities regardless of gender or anything else - in other words - EQUITY.

The mission is not about disenfranchising men - and that is an important message - it is about opening up the other half of the talent pool and empowering women to take their rightful places in business and in society.

Emma draws on her own experiences of being a woman in an aviation business that is still dominated by men, and talks with authenticity and authority about leadership, resilience and that pesky chink in many Womens armour - imposter syndrome, and why we need to leave that at the door.

Thanks to the work Emma carries out in schools and colleges, young people across the country have a better understanding of the idea that no job is gender specific - the right person for the job is the crucial thing, and nothing else.

As well as her work promoting the role of women, not just in aviation but in all workplaces, and running her charity, Emma is an accomplished and sought after motivational speaker, empowering audiences wherever she goes.  She was made MBE for her charitable work in January 2021, sits on the board of Surfable - an accessible surfing charity, the Fresson Trust - promoting aviation to young people in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and encourages everyone, everywhere to spread their wings and reach for the stars.

Emma has also recently become a Department for Transport Aviation Ambassador and is looking forward very much to being able to continue this important work on a national level.

Use of IWD Speakers Directory is at user discretion.
IWD Speakers are not endorsed. Information is provided by the speaker or their agency.


IWD Toolkit
Where Women Work

Join the IWD Community