Pegasus Airlines CEO receives IATA’s Inspirational Role Model Award

Pegasus Airlines CEO Güliz Öztürk received the Inspirational Role Model Award at the 2022 IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards, in recognition of her work on gender equality at the airline.

The award was presented by IATA Director General Willie Walsh and Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. The Diversity and Inclusion Awards took place as part of IATA’s 78th Annual General Meeting and Global Air Transport Summit in Doha, June 19-21.


The award was presented to Güliz Öztürk by IATA Director General Willie Walsh and Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. Photo: IATA

Güliz Öztürk, who took over the reins of Pegasus Airlines in May this year, becoming the airline’s first female CEO, said:

“It is a great honor to receive such an important and special award. As Pegasus Airlines, we are a company that values ​​diversity and inclusion. We are at the center of the fight for gender equality in particular for many years and have done a great deal of work in this area.We are proud of the fact that our female employees have left their mark in all areas of our business, from pilots to senior management.

In her previous role as Chief Commercial Officer at Pegasus Airlines, Öztürk championed numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is also co-chair of the airline’s Women in Sales Network, a company-wide program to improve gender balance in its sales departments.

Diversity and Inclusion at Pegasus Airlines

Pegasus Airlines has been a pioneer in the area of ​​diversity and inclusion for many years. The airline was the first in the world to join the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles platform and is also a member of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) Commission for the Development of Balance between the sexes.

Pegasus Airlines operates a fleet of Airbus A320s, Airbus A320neos, Airbus A321neos and Boeing 737-800s. Photo: Pegasus Airlines

As one of the first airlines to join IATA’s 25 by 2025 initiative, Pegasus Airlines is one of a growing number of carriers around the world working for greater representation of women in industry. The airline has already achieved its goal of women representing at least 25% of its total workforce. In December 2021, this figure stood at 32.9% and is expected to increase further thanks to the work of Öztürk and his team.

Learn more about the 20 by 2025 initiative here.

The airline is now working to increase the representation and leadership of women in senior management. To demonstrate its commitment to gender equality, Pegasus Airlines continues its tradition of naming new aircraft joining its fleet after the daughters of its employees.

Reflecting on his accomplishments and the work ahead, Öztürk went on to say:

“We will make every effort, institutionally and individually, to contribute to the equal participation of all individuals, without distinction of sex, in all areas of social life and to allow women to fully express their potential, and we will continue to work with all our strength in order to achieve a more equal future”.

airBaltic – paving the way for diversity and inclusion

Another IATA award winner was airBaltic, with the Latvian carrier receiving the Diversity and Inclusion team award. Diversity and inclusion has become a key priority for airBaltic, with the carrier implementing a strict anti-discrimination policy and 45% of the airline’s leadership positions held by women. This figure is significantly higher than the industry average.

airBaltic was also the winner of the IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards 2022. Photo: airBaltic

Speaking about the outlook for the coming years, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said:

“Change will not happen overnight, but with the efforts of those being rewarded today and many others in the industry, I am confident that the face of aviation senior management will look very different. In the coming years.”

In 2018, only two out of 100 CEOs of the world’s largest carriers were women. Today, that number is nearly nine. While the statistics show that impressive progress has been made so far, there is still a long way to go to achieve true equality.

Do you think Pegasus Airlines CEO Güliz Öztürk deserves IATA’s Inspirational Role Model Award? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Rebecca R. Santistevan