In the air: empowering women around the world

How Viasat is helping U.N. Women’s ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future Tomorrow’ campaign take off


On International Women’s Day 2022, and throughout the entire month of March, Viasat is proud to share and promote the vital work being carried out through our ongoing partnership with the United Nations.

Building on the success of what we started last year, Viasat will once again use our award-winning, high-speed in-flight connectivity service to share U.N. Women’s gender-equality message to thousands of airline passengers around the world.

In March 2021, Viasat worked with five international airlines – Aeromexico, American Airlines, Azul, Finnair, and NEOS – to educate passengers on 45,000 flights in more than 20 countries about the U.N. Women’s Generation Equality campaign. We did this by showing information about the campaign on the airlines’ Viasat-powered portals — as soon as passengers connected to the on-board Wi-Fi — through a combination of videos, banner ads, and opportunities to donate.

We saw an average engagement rate of 50% from passengers with access to our Viasat Engage sponsored-internet platform, while flights with traditional display ads saw click-through rates of 0.31%. This meant that thousands of people from a diverse range of countries learned about a landmark effort to inspire and accelerate equality, leadership, and opportunity for women and girls all over the world — all while looking down on that world from their unique vantage point in the skies above.

2022 plans

This year, we are aiming even higher as we work with six of our valued airline partners – Aeromexico, Azul, Delta Air Lines, Finnair, Icelandair, and NEOS – to promote the theme for International Women’s Day 2022: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow. This theme recognizes the vital role women and girls around the world can play in building a more sustainable future while empowering them to lead the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response.

Studies conducted by the UN show that women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, yet barriers still exist preventing them from taking seats at the tables where decisions are made on how to address global warming. Viasat is honored to help U.N. Women break down those barriers.

Sustainability and gender equality are two issues close to our hearts at Viasat, as a global communications company that advocates for environmental protection and the elevation of women in STEM. These issues are also of great importance to our airline partners who, as an industry, have committed to increasing the number of women in senior roles to a minimum of 25% by 2025, and to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Viasat is therefore proud to once again cover the bandwidth costs and work with our airline partners, who are providing the advertising space, to help amplify and promote U.N. Women’s inspiring work on these dual fronts.

Compelling content

In the run-up to this year’s International Women’s Day, Viasat has worked hand-in-hand with U.N. Women and our airline partners to create compelling content that can be accessed by passengers through our in-flight Wi-Fi service. Passengers have the opportunity to learn in five different languages about the U.N.'s work to empower women and girls, and they will also have a chance to donate and contribute to future efforts to achieve gender equality and climate justice from their airline seats.

One example of the positive changes made possible by U.N. Women’s work is a program through which women in remote villages are trained as solar engineers, providing them with the skills to build solar-powered lamps. This enables villages without electricity to access light when the sun goes down, which not only improves comfort and safety but also access to education. By raising awareness of U.N. Women’s campaign and providing an opportunity for airline passengers to get involved, Viasat is helping ensure that more initiatives like this can reach more people in the future.

We believe technology can change the world for the better, and our partnership with UN Women demonstrates this quite literally. It’s a perfect example of how Viasat’s super-fast, high-capacity in-flight internet service can bring a unified message from a single partner in front of a diverse audience and encourage them to engage with it.

The technology we’re building makes it possible to create seamless advertising campaigns and put them in front of a broad audience traveling on multiple global airlines. The fact that in this instance the message we’re promoting embodies Viasat’s core values is the icing on the cake for us.

Michelle Munoz-Talcott is Marketing Director, Global Mobile Solutions at Viasat. She leads marketing and strategy in the Global Mobile Solutions segment, which includes commercial and business aviation as well as maritime. She has over 20 years of marketing experience in the technology and wireless industries including Verizon, Vodafone and Nokia (formally Alcatel-Lucent). Her roles have included working in all facets of marketing and product management as well as international posts in Europe.