IATA Recognizes Champions of Diversity and Inclusion

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) celebrated outstanding achievements in fostering a more inclusive aviation industry at its 80th Annual General Meeting & World Air Transport Summit. The prestigious IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards acknowledge individuals and airlines spearheading positive change.

This year's "Inspirational Role Model" award recipient is Kendra Kincade, CEO and Founder of the Elevate Foundation. Kincade's tireless efforts create pathways for underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in aviation. The Elevate Foundation's mentorship programs and scholarship initiatives empower aspiring aviators from diverse backgrounds.

The "High Flyer" award honors Mafunase Ngosa Malenga, a young leader who has made significant strides in advancing diversity within the industry. Malenga's dedication is evident through her work with the Southern Africa Institute of Aviation Science and Technology, an organization she founded to bridge the skills gap and promote aviation careers amongst women and minorities in the region.

Airlines are also recognized for their commitment to creating inclusive workplaces. This year, the "Diversity & Inclusion Team" award goes to British Airways. The airline's comprehensive strategy focuses on attracting a diverse workforce, fostering a culture of inclusion, and promoting equal opportunities for professional development. Their initiatives include unconscious bias training programs, targeted recruitment efforts, and employee resource groups that create a supportive environment for employees from all backgrounds.

"Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are essential for a thriving air transport industry, " said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General. "The award winners exemplify the kind of leadership and commitment that is driving positive change. By creating a more inclusive industry, we unlock the full potential of our workforce and better serve the diverse global community we connect. "

The winners were chosen by an independent panel comprised of the 2023 Diversity & Inclusion Award recipients. Each award category comes with a US$25, 000 prize, generously sponsored by Qatar Airways.

The IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards program plays a vital role in inspiring and recognizing the ongoing efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive aviation industry. By celebrating these achievements, IATA aims to encourage continued progress towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, the world of air travel.

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