IATA, gender, awards, diversity, aviation,
Christine Ourmieres-Widener, CEO of Flybe, and Rafael Schvartzman, RVP Europe, IATA, after the signing of the Women in Aviation Charter (photo: IATA)

Outgoing Flybe chief uses award for scholarship

Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener, who is leaving her position, will create a new scholarship for female students of air transport management.

As the winner of the Inspirational Role Model award in the IATA’s first Diversity and Inclusion Awards, outgoing Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener received a $25,000 prize. She has decided to use the funding to create a scholarship for a female student in the UK at Cranfield University’s Master of Science degree programme in air transport management.

The recipient of the scholarship is expected to be announced in August.

“It’s the best way to support and encourage the growth of more female leadership,” Ourmieres-Widener told FlightGlobal.

She added that Cranfield was chosen for its reputation in the airline industry in the UK.

Other winners of the IATA diversity awards include Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, president and founder of the Young African Aviation Professional Association, who received the High Flyer award. And Air New Zealand was recognised for its diversity and inclusion team.

Nominations for the awards were adjudicated by a panel of four judges. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the World Air Transport Summit, which followed the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Attracting women
Ourmieres-Widener, who has been instrumental in several gender diversity initiatives at Flybe, will leave the UK carrier in July after the airline was sold to the Connect consortium earlier this year.

She says she will work to ensure that her successor continues her work to attract women to the airline.

While she has not said where she will go after Flybe, she indicated that she would like to stay in the airline industry.

She will teach as part of an IATA workshop for female aviation professionals beginning late-September in Geneva.

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