Africa’s Fadimatou Simo Wins IATA Diversity & Inclusion Award

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Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo (middle), winner of the High Flyer Award category of the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards flanked by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s DG and Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO during the award presentation ceremony in Seoul at IATA’s 75th AGA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the winners of the inaugural IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards in three categories and Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo was announced winner of the High Flyer Award category receiving a prize of $25,000, courtesy of the sponsors –  Qatar Airways.

In 2014 Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo founded the Young African Aviation Professional Association (YAAPA). As part of YAAPA’s outreach program Fadimatou introduced the Heleta Aviation Scholarship Program to encourage underprivileged children in rural areas of Africa to consider aviation as a future career choice. YAAPA is also an active player in establishing a Community Center in Cameroon which will aim to introduce a Youth Aviation Tech Program for Africa by matching interested young people with aviation professionals and providing them with strong mentorship opportunities.

Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo (middle) flanked by winners of the two other categories of the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, congratulated the winners. He stated: “Our industry is diverse and we need an equally diverse and inclusive workforce to meet their needs. But there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve the balance we need, particularly on gender diversity at senior levels. Today’s impressive awardees both demonstrate and inspire progress.”

Nominations for the awards were adjudicated by a panel of four judges: Angela Gittens, Director General, Airports Council International; Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council; Mark Pilling, Vice President Publishing and Conferences, FlightGlobal; and Karen Walker, Editor-in-Chief, Air Transport World.

Angela Gittens, on behalf of the judging panel, said: “Selecting the winners was a difficult task. The large number of high-quality applications reflects the breadth of work being done across the industry on gender diversity and inclusion. There can only be one winner in each category, but all the applicants should inspire the industry to move forward. To meet the demands of the future, aviation needs a diverse and inclusive workforce.”


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