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Executive Leadership Program for Women in Aviation (Classroom, 5 days)

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Women account for fewer than 5% of airline CEOs around the world. Even though the number of women involved in the aviation industry has steadily increased, we still have a gap in senior management. Research shows that gender-diverse teams perform 73% better, they score higher results and have better returns.

In order to have more female leaders, IATA has developed a program to sharpen the leadership skills of women so they can become more visible in the workplace, strengthen their aviation knowledge and analytical skills. Over 5 days you will have 8 face-to-face modules taught by industry experts and prominent guest speakers; 2 e-Learning courses; organized networking opportunities; and a post-course coaching session.

Are you an upper middle to senior executive woman looking to elevate your career to the next level? This program is for you! You will gain unique knowledge of the aviation industry from the IATA internal and external experts and you will build the confidence needed to take the next career step.

Guest Speakers

Karen Clayton Christine Ourmier-Widener

Karen Clayton, Corporate Secretary, IATA and Christine Ourmières-Widener, ex-Chief Executive Officer, Flybe

Course format

  • This course comprises 8 classroom modules, 2 e-learning courses and a coaching session
  • This is a 5-day intensive classroom course. Participants are expected to attend the program in full and work extra hours to cover all the assignments. Instruction is delivered by an official IATA Instructor.
  • Student performance will be based on an assessment


  • A set of required readings will be sent prior to the course
  • Completion of the Overview of the Air Transportation System (2hr e-Learning course)


  • The recommended level of language proficiency is ICAO Operational Level 4 for courses in English or the equivalent level for other languages.

Next class

There are currently no scheduled classes. Check back later for updates or contact us to arrange a class in your company.

What you will learn

Upon completing this course you will be able to:

  • Have a 360-degree overview of the aviation industry and how it works
  • Articulate the key aviation policy issues and propose solutions
  • Be a successful influencer, conduct effective meetings, strengthen relationships and learn how to build trust with your colleagues
  • Describe fundamental leadership and succession planning skills which enables women in aviation to advance their careers
  • Create an individual development plan for transferring new skills into your day to day work environment
  • Get an overview of the regulatory framework applicable to the airline industry from a public and private international law perspective
  • Describe the major international legal instruments and roles of institutional players in domestic, regional and international aviation regulation.
  • Build a network of women in aviation industry to serve as mentors and role models

Course content

    8 Classroom modules

    The industry-related modules provide a deep understanding of the key aviation issues such as: airline business modules, aviation policy, airline economics, and aviation law. The second part of the classroom training aims to build crucial leadership skills (influencing skills, successful planning, communication/negotiation skills) that will help advice your career. A personal development plan will be discussed individually at the end of the training.

    • Benefits of Aviation
    • Current aviation policy issues
    • Digital transformation and how it will affect aviation
    • Influencing and Networking skills
    • Public International Air Law
    • Private International Air Law
    • Data protection
    • Develop your leadership role
    • Strengthen your communication style

    2 e-learning courses

    Download the course outline

    Who should attend

    This course is recommended for:

    • Mid to senior business executive women in aviation or professionals interested in a career in aviation
    • Government and public affairs officials
    • Not-for-profit candidates

    Guest Speakers

    Karen Clayton, Corporate Secretary, IATA

    Karen is an English qualified solicitor and experienced Senior Executive with over 20 years of international experience with large companies in the Professional Services, Energy and Aviation sectors. Karen joined IATA from Air New Zealand at the beginning of April in the global role of Corporate Secretary and as part of IATA’s Strategic Leadership Team. Karen is based in Geneva, Switzerland and in her Corporate Secretary role at IATA is responsible for supporting the IATA Board and Management on all governance and corporate secretariat matters. While at Air New Zealand Karen served in the dual role of General Counsel and Company Secretary, supporting the Board, Executive and teams across the airline on a wide range of strategic legal, risk, privacy, compliance and governance issues, most recently leading the development of the airline’s strategic risk and global privacy programs. Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Karen was UK General Counsel & Company Secretary for National Grid plc, a UK FTSE 20 and US NYSE listed international gas and electricity company, where she led a team of lawyers, risk, ethics and other assurance professionals and was an influential member of the company’s UK Executive Leadership team. During her career, Karen has worked as a commercial litigator in top tier law firms in both the UK and Australia and is a regular speaker at events on legal, leadership and diversity topics.

    Christine Ourmières-Widener, ex-Chief Executive Officer, Flybe
    Christine joined Flybe as Chief Executive Officer on 16th January 2017. With extensive international experience across the aviation and travel sectors, immediately prior to joining the airline, she was Chief Global Sales Officer for American Express Global Business Travel, responsible for developing the company’s strategy and driving business growth in major markets across North America, Europe and Asia with a strong focus on improving the customer experience. Between 2010 and 2015, Christine was CEO and Accountable Manager with CityJet – becoming the first female CEO of an Irish-licensed airline and one of only 15 across all commercial airlines. She had overall responsibility for all operations including network, distribution, finance, marketing, communications, quality assurance and airport operations; and she played an integral role in securing investors during the sale of the company to AF/KLM, latterly leading projects for the newly independent airline including its rebranding, re-fleeting and deep restructuring. She had previously worked her way up through the ranks of Air France to become the airline's first-ever vice president/general manager of Air France-KLM, USA in New York, having held a number of increasingly senior roles including General Manager (UK and Ireland), Vice President of Air France Global Sales, and Vice President of International Sales. During her tenure as Commercial Director, she was instrumental in the launch of Amadeus in France.

    Do you want to know more about Women in Leadership in Aviation? Listen to the discussions that took place at the IATA Global Training Partners Conference in New Delhi, India in April 2019.

    Certificate awarded

    An IATA Diploma is awarded to participants successfully completing the Program.

    Additional information

    About IATA Classroom Training
    We train more than 30,000 aviation professionals annually through our global network of IATA Training Centers, Regional Training Partners, and in private in-house sessions. Our 350+ classroom courses are developed using IATA’s unique industry insight and delivered by IATA Instructors, experts in their fields. More

    Further training
    Graduates of this course can apply for the Harvard ManageMentor© (HMM) distance learning program at a special graduate price.

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