Gender diversity has never been more topical, relevant and, arguably, of greater importance to the airline industry. There is a spotlight on the airlines that have a gender imbalance, often a significant one within the executive team. Diversity and Inclusion questions are rightfully being asked. Airlines, and the whole of the travel industry, need to ensure they employ the right recruitment and retention strategies, internally and externally to combat the gap.
We are thrilled that there are now more women airline CEOs than ever before. Last month alone, we saw several CEO changes – 3 being replaced by highly talented female leaders.
Marjan Rintel – new CEO of KLM
Güliz Öztürk – new CEO of Pegasus airlines (The first woman CEO in the air transport industry in the history of Turkish civil aviation)
Dina Ben Tal Ganancia – new CEO of EL AL Israel
They join Lynne Embleton, CEO Aer Lingus, Anne Rigail, CEO Air France, Annette Mann, CEO at Austrian Air, Annick Guerard, CEO at Air Transat, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, CEO at TAP Air Portugal, Merren McArthur, CEO & President at Lynx Air, Thao Nguyen Thi Phuong, CEO at VietJet, Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO at Virgin Australia and Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, CEO at Flyr among the women leading top global airlines today.
In addition to a general will of a large part of the industry to diversify their talent, some governments and aviation governing bodies have also implemented strategies to ensure a greater gender balance. Examples include IATA and the 30% Club, amongst others. Both have introduced programmes and recommendations and offer advice to companies wanting to bridge the gap. IATA launched 25by2025, a global initiative to tackle gender imbalance within the aviation industry – members commit to increase female representation (and reach 25%) in senior roles and functions where women are traditionally under-represented. The 30% club is a global business-led campaign aiming to boost female representation at Board and C-Suite level in the world’s biggest companies.
It is important to also consider not just gender diversity in C-suite but to bolster, encourage and promote women leaders at C-Suite minus 1, minus 2 and below thus ensuring leadership teams have a continuous pipeline of gender-balanced talent for the future.
Here at Venari Partners, we are making it our mission to promote gender diversity within our airline clients and support women to succeed. As an Aviation practice, we will be creating a group for women leaders in Aviation to connect, learn, mentor, and help pave the way for greater gender diversity in senior aviation roles. This will be a forum to encourage leaders to network and discuss aviation trends and insights. We will ensure that the vast majority of our live aviation roles are posted on the group to offer the network full visibility of opportunities in the market.
Sign up below to be the first to hear about our Women in Aviation group, launching in a few weeks.