July 13, 2024

Trailblazers in Aviation: IATA’s 2024 Diversity & Inclusion Award Winners

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has unveiled the winners of its 2024 Diversity & Inclusion Awards, celebrating influential figures and initiatives that are driving meaningful change in the aviation industry.

2024 IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards winners surrounded by Yvonne Manzi Makolo (left) and Willie Walsh (right)

Image Source: iata.org

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the distinguished winners of its 2024 Diversity & Inclusion Awards. Kendra Kincade, CEO and Founder of Elevate Aviation, was honored as the Inspirational Role Model, while Mafunase Ngosa Malenga, Founder and Managing Director of the Southern Africa Institute of Aviation Science and Technology, earned the High Flyer accolade. British Airways received recognition as the top Diversity & Inclusion Team.

Additionally, Hana Al Awahdi, Senior Vice President of Human Resources Business Partner at dnata, received a special commendation in the High Flyer category. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir and Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, presented the awards, praising the winners as “true beacons of change” for their significant contributions to gender balance in aviation.

Karen Walker, Editor-in-Chief of Air Transport World and Chair of the judging panel, emphasized the increasing quality of nominations each year, reflecting the industry’s growing commitment to diversity and inclusion. IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, congratulated all nominees and winners, highlighting their critical role in making aviation a great career choice for all genders and strengthening the industry.

The 2024 awards ceremony, held during the World Air Transport Summit in Dubai, UAE, showcased the inspiring achievements of these leaders. Sponsored by Qatar Airways, each winner received a $25,000 prize to further their initiatives or support nominated charities.

Profiles of the winners reveal impactful efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Kendra Kincade’s Elevate Aviation offers programs to advance gender balance, including mentorship and aviation awareness training. Mafunase Ngosa Malenga’s institute has graduated over 800 students, with 80% being women, contributing to diverse aviation roles across Africa. British Airways’ campaign “Inclusion starts with I” has successfully promoted ethnic and gender representation, achieving significant milestones in female leadership.

Special commendation recipient Hana Al Awahdi led dnata to achieve 29% female leadership in UAE operations and implemented comprehensive bias-breaking and mentorship programs, driving significant progress in workplace inclusivity.

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