Gender imbalance in the aviation sector has long been an issue. This is particularly evident in C-suite roles, which refer to the executive-level managers within a company (where the job roles usually begin with a ‘c’). 

However, a new appointment is helping to close the gender gap in leadership. JetBlue (JBLU), an American low cost carrier, has named Ursula Hurley as chief financial officer.  

Hurley’s promotion is well deserved, said JetBlue (JBLU). Steering the company through the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis was challenging but she performed it successfully, according to a statement by the company.

“Ursula has done an incredible job leading us through the pandemic,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s (JBLU) chief executive. “With a steady hand, she’s raised capital to allow us to weather the challenges and proven to be focused on helping us manage our cost structure. As we emerge from the pandemic, her continued leadership in managing costs will be fundamental to her role.”

Acting CFO since June 2021, Hurley now officially takes up overseeing the company’s real estate and strategic sourcing units, as well as overall financial strategy including accounting, audit, aircraft and engine transactions, cash management, corporate finance, fuel, and tax. 

“I’m so excited to continue to work closely with both the senior leadership team and our incredible finance team to support JetBlue’s (JBLU) recovery,” said Hurley. “Together we’re committed to rebuilding margins, maintaining our focus on costs, and repairing our balance sheet to help us continue to thrive.”

Hurley’s appointment follows 17 years of service at the airline, working in various roles in financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations. She has managed JetBlue’s (JBLU) $13 billion balance of corporate and aircraft finance, managed cash and investments, fleet management, fuel purchasing and hedging, fleet strategy and programs, strategic sourcing, and investor relationships. 

She also has an impressive CV outside of her day job. She is president of the JetBlue Foundation, an organization whose mission is to promote diversity in STEM education and create career paths for the next generation in aviation. And Hurley sits on the Fairfield University Dolan School of Business Advisory Board. 

Coincidently, the announcement comes on the day when we at AeroTime are celebrating the six-month anniversary of our Women in Aviation campaign.