SACAA’s Poppy Khoza Recognised By IATA As Inspirational Role Model

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Ms Poppy Khoza, Director General of South Africa Civil Aviation Authority has been named winner of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s 2023 edition of the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards in the Inspirational Role Model category.

This award recognized the remarkable and outstanding impact of Ms. Poppy Khoza, who was appointed as the first female president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) at the organisation’s triennial assembly in September 2022 at Montreal, Canada.

At SACAA, Ms Khoza’s work focuses on providing equal opportunities for women and she has led the transformation of the organization which now boasts women in 50% of executive roles. In her work, Ms. Khoza spares no effort in mentoring and coaching other women to challenge the status quo and create a more gender balanced aviation industry.

She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Aviation Sector and Regional Leader Award, Best Chief Executive Officer Award (2015 and 2018). She was also named the Business Leader of the Year during the annual Oliver Empowerment Awards (2018)

According to Karen Walker, Editor in Chief, Air Transport World and chair of the judging panel, “the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards play an important role in recognizing the work done by those who go above and beyond in engraining diversity and inclusion in the aviation industry. Through breaking taboos to introducing innovations and changing the status quo, this year’s winners exemplify the true nature of the industry: resilience, persistence and unhindered motivation to drive change.”

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said: “I congratulate the winners of the 2023 awards. By their example, they are leading the way to a gender balanced aviation industry. They have pushed boundaries to demonstrate that diversity and inclusion is fundamental to business success. Congratulations to three truly inspirational winners. Women are still under-represented in aviation, but with the help and example of these and previous award winners, we are making progress.”

The IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards also recognized:

  • High Flyer: Camila Turrieta – Chair of the Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion Committee, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and First Officer, JetBlue Airways
  • Diversity & Inclusion Team: Virgin Atlantic Airways
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