Diversity & Inclusion Panel: Embracing Equity – Why decisively inclusive leadership is the future of aviation, “You can’t retain people if they don’t feel at home.”
At Aviation Festival Asia, Moushumi Kirtania, Board Member and Director, Women in Aviation International (Singapore Chapter) hosted a panel with Yin May Lau, Group CMO & CXO, Malaysia Airlines, Uschi Schulte-Sasse, SVP Aviation, Inform GmbH, and Chris Carter, Director, Asia Pacific Region, Federal Aviation Association USA exploring decisively inclusive leadership in the industry.
The panel dissected what inclusive leadership means and what it means to exercise it. Some of the stand out points included Christ Carter’s emphasis on embracing and accentuating difference instead of being “colour-blind” as well as being aware of personal biases, recognising the ability to manage these. Crucially, panellists stressed that it now a requirement to make a conscious, proactive choice to be an inclusive leader.
Additionally, the panel explored the topic of diversity, looking at its relationship with inclusivity. Discussing the current limitations to diversity within the industry’s workforce, Uschi Schulte-Sasse stressed initiatives which actively seek to encourage a diverse workforce from the grassroots prompting a wider discussion around growing the talent pool. It was agreed that certain jobs can be represented as gendered which will require the active deconstruction of engrained societal biases.
Conversation also covered how we can project inclusivity within the company to the end customer. Here, Yin May Lau gave specific examples of how the Malaysia Airlines’ inclusive culture is tangible for customers too as well as the internal business. You can hear more on this during a pre-event interview here.
The session did not shy away from difficult questions. Moushumi Kirtania sparked spirited discussion asking panellists “are companies focusing too much on diversity metrics instead of inclusivity?” Panellists spoke candidly around challenges and limitations within the industry and what it will take to create a diverse, thriving workforce.
Touching on culture, gen-z, glass ceilings, role models, and more, you can watch the full session below.