The award internationally recognises Air New Zealand as leading the way for diversity and inclusion in the aviation industry, by implementing positive and tangible change in the diversity and inclusion space as part of its diversity agenda.
The airline was unanimously chosen as the winner from 70 written and video submissions from other airlines around the world, with judges citing Air New Zealand’s diversity programme as authentic, impressive and a source of inspiration for other global airlines.
Air New Zealand Chief People Officer Jodie King says the Air New Zealand Board and Executive are very clear on their commitment in this space and wholeheartedly support enabling an inclusive workplace culture.
“Celebrating diversity in the workforce leverages our people’s unique backgrounds, qualities and contributions and allows us to bring our authentic and best selves to work every day.
“Companies in the top quartile of ethnic and gender diversity are 33 percent and 38 percent respectively more likely to have a higher than average market share and we encourage diversity of thought in our decision-making processes to authentically reflect our customer base.”
Air New Zealand launched its first diversity and inclusion strategy in 2013 to foster an organisation that is proudly representative of Aotearoa – a place where Air New Zealanders can be themselves and thrive.
Since then, the airline has elevated its gender diversity by increasing the number of females in its 80 strong senior leadership team from 16 percent in 2013 to 43 percent in 2019. Women’s groups within the airline, such as Women Pilots Inspiring the Next Generation (WINGS), have worked alongside the community to encourage more women to consider aviation as a career path. With the global average of female pilots sitting at 5 percent, Air New Zealand continues to focus on growing its percentage of female pilots across its regional and jet fleet which currently sits at 7.4 percent.
The airline has also put a focus on cultural competency within all areas of the business and is working towards increasing the number of Māori and Pasifika employees in leadership roles, setting a target of 20 percent by 2022. Its senior leaders will work to build their fluency in Māori culture and customs, including attending immersive overnight marae workshops.
Air New Zealand is proud to have been awarded the Gender Tick Accreditation and the Rainbow Tick Accreditation earlier this year and is currently working towards the Accessibility Tick accreditation.
The airline hosts seven employee networks, which are agitators for positive change. To date, 500 Air New Zealand employees have taken part in unconscious knowledge workshops, with more planned to encourage inclusive leadership and address potential workplace bias.
Judges for the award include Airports Council International Director General Angela Gittens, World Travel and Tourism Council President and CEO Gloria Guevara, FlightGlobal Vice President Publishing and Conferences Mark Pilling, and Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief Karen Walker.