Cathay Pacific to boost female leaders in aviation ‘boys club’
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Cathay Pacific to boost female leaders in aviation ‘boys club’

HONG KONG’S flagship carrier Cathay Pacific will aim to put more women in senior management roles as its sole female leader departs the company.

While 61 percent of Cathay’s employees are women, the outgoing flight operations director Anna Thompson is the only woman in a leadership position across the city’s four passenger airlines, reported Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.

“We are an all-male line-up and we hope that doesn’t continue forever,” Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg was quoted as saying.

“Inclusion is really important, particularly from minority groups to feel they have a place in Cathay Pacific,” he said, pledging to address the imbalance.

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At the International Air Transport Association (IATA) gathering in Sydney this week, just one out of the 26 airline bosses in attendance was a woman, reported Bloomberg.

While women are almost universally underrepresented in management positions, aviation trails many other industries. According to IATA, just 3 percent of CEO roles in aviation are held by women, compared to at least 12 percent in other industries.

Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO of regional UK airline Flybe in the “boy’s club” of aviation was quoted as saying “maybe we need to be more creative”. Mentoring, coaching and other initiatives could see more women in leadership roles, she said, “if that’s a priority.”

According to Bloomberg, Bangkok Airways has two women serving on its 12-member board. The airline’s president President Puttipong Prasattong-Osoth said: “We respect all who are capable, that can do work … I don’t see the difference from male and female working, it’s up to their abilities.”