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Aviation is one of the strongest enablers for diversity.  As a global industry, it connects people from all over the world, transcending geographical boundaries and cultural differences. As such, it has the power to bring diverse individuals and cultures together and promote greater understanding and appreciation of different perspectives.

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IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards, sponsored by Qatar Airways, recognize individuals, organizations, and initiatives that have made significant contributions to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion within the aviation industry. These awards celebrate the efforts of those who have worked to create a more inclusive culture, foster a sense of belonging, and promote equity and fairness in the aviation industry. By honoring these achievements, IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards aim to inspire others to follow suit and continue to work towards a more diverse and inclusive aviation industry for all.

2023 Winners of IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards Announced

Diversity & Inclusion Awards recognize three categories of leadership in diversity and inclusion:

  • Inspirational Role Model: Poppy Khoza – Director of Civil Aviation, South African Civil Aviation Authority (SAACA)
  • High Flyer Award: Camila Turrieta – Chair of the President’s Committee for Diversity & Inclusion, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and First Officer, JetBlue Airways
  • Diversity & Inclusion Team: Virgin Atlantic Airways


Each award category comes with US$25,000 in prize money, generously funded by Qatar Airways. Winners will be announced during IATA’s Annual General Meeting in June 2023.


The 2023 nominations will be evaluated by an independent panel formed by the winners of the 2022 Awards:

  • Güliz Öztürk, CEO at Pegasus 
  • Kanchana Gamage, Founder and Director of the Aviatrix Project
  • Alīna Aronberga, SVP Human Resources at Air Baltic.

The judging panel will be chaired by Karen Walker, Editor-in-Chief of Air Transport World.

> More information about the 2022 Awards winners

2022 Winners

The 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Award winners are Güliz Öztürk, CEO at Pegasus, Kanchana Gamage, Founder and Director of the Aviatrix Project and Alina Aronberga, SVP Human Resources at Air Baltic. They will be the judges of the 2023 Awards.

Inspirational Role Model

Güliz Öztürk - CEO at Pegasus
As the first female CEO in the field of air transportation in the history of Turkish civil aviation, Öztürk serves as a strong inspiration for women in Türkiye and around the aviation world. She joined Pegasus in 2005. As Chief Commercial Officer she pioneered numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. Öztürk is also the co-chair of the airline’s Women in Sales Network, a company-wide initiative to improve gender balance in commercial departments.

High Flyer

Kanchana Gamage - Founder and Director of the Aviatrix Project

As a diversity champion from an ethnic minority background, UK-based Gamage continues to be a role model for the next generation of women. Having worked on bridging the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) gap, particularly in relation to the under representation of women in the aviation industry, Gamage launched The Aviatrix Project in 2015.

Diversity and Inclusion Team


AirBaltic’s core values “We deliver. We care. We grow” reflect the airline’s approach to operating in a globalized industry, such as aviation. Diversity and inclusion have become a key differentiator for the carrier, which has introduced a strict zero discrimination policy and where 45% of the airline’s top management team comprises women, a figure that is significantly higher than the industry’s average. AirBaltic is recognized for promoting gender equality across the company. 

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