The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has opened the nominations for the 2023 IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards. In a press statement, IATA says that nominations will be accepted from all individuals or organisations serving in the field of aviation value chain and will close at 23:59 CET on April 19. The annual awards programme recognises excellence in diversity and inclusion in three main categories.
The first category is ‘Inspirational Role Model Award’ that recognises a woman in a high position working in the aviation sector who has made a substantial contribution to the business delivery of the industry as well as her continued support for the diversity and inclusion agenda. All sectors of the aviation industry are welcome to submit nominees.
The second category is ‘High Flyer Award’ which honours a woman in the aviation industry under the age of 40 who has shown leadership by taking meaningful steps in support of inclusion and diversity and has a beneficial impact on the sector. It is open to all female aviation sector workers.
The third award is ‘Diversity & Inclusion Team Award’ which rewards an airline for its efforts in this area, which have led to verifiable improvements in diversity and inclusion. Any IATA member airlines are welcome, says IATA.
Each award winner is slated to receive USD 25,000 which is payable to the awardee or their nominated charity for diversity and inclusion activities. The prize money has been sponsored by Qatar Airways, says IATA.
“Diversity and inclusion are top priorities across the aviation industry—particularly as the industry competes for the next generation of talent to deliver the benefits of global connectivity. The IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards help accelerate progress by recognising the leaders who are making a difference. By acknowledging the results that they have generated, we are aiming to inspire others to also take action to advance aviation’s gender balance. I encourage people to send in their nominations and look forward to shining the spotlight on the winners at our upcoming Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Istanbul,” says Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA.
Gender diversity is a deciding-factor for travellers, says an IATA Passenger Survey conducted in November 2022, which reports that 64 pc of travellers are in favour of flying with airlines that vouch for gender diversity. The importance of gender diversity ranks even higher for younger age groups with 84 pc of 18- to 34-year-olds, and 77 pc of 35- to 44-year-olds, expressing a preference for airlines with a strong commitment to gender diversity, according to the IATA survey.
“We have taken several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion within our airline, which we believe is essential to remain strong and have a broad representation where everyone can thrive in our industry. The IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards celebrate the efforts of all the organisations which is why we have been a supporter since the program was launched in 2019. We will continue to work collaboratively with IATA to inspire leaders in the industry, promote equality and make a positive impact by providing an inclusive environment,” says Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.