AWAR is committed to promoting the development and advancement of women leaders in the aviation industry through its impactful industry events.

Dublin 2020: Leaders Luncheon

21 January 2020

Three Steps to Building an Inclusive Workforce

AWAR was delighted to host our 6th Annual Leaders Luncheon in Dublin, Ireland, where we welcomed 250 of the industry’s top male and female leaders for an all-new interactive workshop focusing on three key areas:

  1. De-biasing hiring and promotions
  2. Setting up managers success as diversity champions
  3. Identifying high potential and intentionally developing critical skills

Attendees also received updates on two exciting diversity initiatives in our industry (click to learn more):

Perhaps the highlight of the program was the much-anticipated announcement of the winner of the AWAR Dublin 2020 Trailblazer Award, Lisa Cusack, Aer Lingus A330 First Officer. All present were moved by Lisa’s inspiring story of never giving up on her dream of becoming a pilot, and of her continuing, tireless efforts to mentor young women and girls across Ireland who aspire to careers in aviation. Lisa broke through two ceilings – one glass, and one class, and baked her way to success, financing flight school in part by selling over 10,000 cupcakes! Huge congratulations to you Lisa, well-deserved!

Thanks again to all who joined us for this exciting event!

Dubai 2019: Leaders Luncheon

1 October 2019

Innovation Through Diversity: How Gender Equality Can Supercharge the UAE

AWAR was delighted to host our Inaugural Leaders Luncheon in the United Arab Emirates. This ground-breaking event brought together some of the aviation industry’s top leaders to explore the unique opportunities to drive innovation in the UAE’s aerospace and technology sectors through inclusive human capital management.

Special thanks to our Keynote Speaker, His Excellency Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer of Mubadala Investment Company, whose vision and leadership in gender parity is positioning Mubadala and its subsidiaries to build a diverse and highly capable workforce for the generations to come.

Thanks also to our wonderful panel of local aviation sector leaders, including Andy Cairns of First Abu Dhabi Bank; Bernadine Karunaratne of Etihad Airways; Iman Al-Midfa of Emirates; Firoz Tarapore of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise; and Sarah Pirzada Usmani of First Abu Dhabi Bank (moderator).

Dublin City University 2019: Mary McAleese Women in Leadership Lecture Series

28 June 2019

Women in Leadership in Aviation: Keynote Address and Leader Panel

AWAR Co-founder and President Amelia Anderson was honored to be featured as a keynote speaker in the Mary McAleese Women in Leadership Lecture Series, and to moderate a panel of amazing industry leaders and champions of diversity.

Panelists included Cathy Mannion, Commissioner of the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation; Lisa Cusack, A330 Pilot with Aer Lingus; Marie-Louise Kelly, CFO and Board Member of ORIX Aviation; and Mickael Melaye, Managing Director of Airbus HIS.

The inspiring panel discussion and audience Q&A touched on many important themes impacting women in leadership: key skillsets needed for the C-suite and the Board room, overcoming the many challenges of becoming a pilot and the pervasive biases women pilots face, the critical importance of instilling confidence and ambition in girls during their formative years, and the need to engage male allies in the quest to drive gender equality.

Special thanks to Sandra Healy of the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity & Inclusion for inviting us, and to Daire Keogh, Deputy President of DCU for his very kind and thoughtful introduction.

Shannon 2019: Engine Lease Finance Corporation Special Event

25 June 2019

ELFC Women’s Network Presents: AWAR Workshop

AWAR Co-founder and President Amelia Anderson and Board Member Irena Badelska were delighted to join our wonderful sponsor, Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELFC), at their beautiful offices in Shannon, Ireland for a special private event.

Team members from all levels and disciplines across the company participated in this highly interactive program, with roundtable exercises and thoughtful discussion around a number of key topics, such as:

  • Intentional development of critical skillsets in women and other diverse groups
  • Bias interrupting strategies in hiring and promotion processes
  • Tools to set managers up for success as family-friendly leaders

Special thanks to Chief Operating Officer Joe O’Brien and the ELFC Women’s Network for hosting, and for their amazing support. The time, hard work and creative ideas they contributed throughout the planning process were invaluable in making this event a great success.

Thank you ELFC for being such a wonderful AWAR partner!

New York 2019: Inaugural Law Firm Roundtable

03 May 2019

Women in the Law: Leveling the Playing Field

The inaugural AWAR event exclusively for law firms was inspired by our repeated observation of the gender parity issues faced by women across all major aviation law firms. These issues — affecting women’s success in business development, access to the most lucrative practice areas and cases, and opportunities for mentorship, to name just a few — are not limited to aviation-related practice areas; indeed, they are all too common in many areas of legal practice.

Facilitated by our incredible keynote speaker, Dr. Kim Elsesser, 80 partners and associates representing 12 major law firms came together for a candid discussion around these and other issues. Working in small groups, participants explored these issues and began to develop actionable strategies — for firms, for women, and for active bystanders — to begin to level the playing field for women.

tokyo 2019: Leaders Luncheon

12 April 2019

Walking the Talk: An Action Plan for Driving Gender Parity

The 2nd Annual AWAR Tokyo Leaders Luncheon was a great success! Over 100 senior men and women across Japan’s aviation sector gathered to hear an esteemed panel of corporate leaders in a candid discussion of their efforts to drive gender parity in their respective organizations.

The all-star panel featured Eriko Asai, President & CEO of GE Japan, Keiko Tashiro, Deputy President of Daiwa Securities, and Osamu “Sam” Muramoto, Chairman of Jackson Square Aviation, along with moderator Mahoko Hara, Managing Executive Officer of Tokyo Century Corporation.

Finally, AWAR was also proud to present the inaugural AWAR Tokyo Trailblazer Award to Mahoko Hara. Congratulations Mahoko!

dublin 2019: Leaders Luncheon

22 January 2019

Building a Framework for Action

AWAR was proud to welcome 250 senior aviation executives to our 5th Annual Dublin Leaders’ Luncheon at the Conrad Hotel. With this year’s focus, “Building a Framework for Action,” we moved beyond the question of why diverse leadership matters, and began the hard work of how to get there.

The event began with the presentation of the inaugural AWAR Trailblazer Award to Marie-Louise Kelly, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of ORIX Aviation.

Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon, delivered a thought-provoking keynote address, and a distinguished panel including Greg Lee of Goldman Sachs, Denise Mangan-Fahy of GECAS, Mark Lessard of Pillsbury and Lorraine Hariton, President & CEO of Catalyst. Panelists shared best practices for developing and advancing women leaders in some of the most progressive companies in aviation.

As always, the highlight of the event was the opportunity for real engagement across gender and industry lines, as attendees worked together in small groups over lunch to formulate their own frameworks for action. It was an amazing and inspiring event for all involved!

hong kong 2018: Leaders Luncheon

30 october 2018

Advocates & Allies: A Call to Action

Wonderfully hosted once again by Danielle Roman, our Hong Kong-based AWAR Steering Committee member, along with our long-time sponsor and supporter Paul Jebely of Pillsbury, the 2018 Hong Kong event focused on a call to action among women and their male and female  advocates and allies. The all-star panel included Lisa Gorski of Boeing, Carine Truong of NWS Holding, Anup Mysoor of Doric and Jane O’Callaghan of Accipiter.

New York 2018: Ishka Conference 

18 OCTOBER 2018

From Portfolio Managers to Corporates: What’s YOUR Role in Changing the Game for Diverse Leadership?

Amelia Anderson, Managing Director and Assistant Treasurer, American Airlines and Dana Barta, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Amelia and Dana cordially invited Ishka attendees to this exclusive, post-conference event to discuss and debate the value of gender diversity in the workplace. 


20 april 2018

“Womenomics”: Fueling the Future of Aviation in Japan 

Keynote Speaker: Kathy Matsui with the Distinguished Panelists and AWAR Co-Hosts

“A thought provoking event with an inspiring speaker, great panellists and interesting discussions. The diversity journey is, unfortunately, a long one, but events such as this one make all of us, in the aerospace industry but also in the wider business community in Japan, realisethat more efforts are needed to make diversity a success.” — Jean-Pierre Stainnack, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, Airbus Japan

“Through my attendance at the Dublin luncheon, I knew how rewarding AWAR can be, bringing men and women from across the industry together and providing new perspectives on diversity and inclusion – but would it work as effectively in Japan, where direct engagement by male leaders is still lacking? My minor concern was completely unnecessary. The Tokyo luncheon was equally stimulating and insightful. Conversations among participants just sparked, and issues unique to the market were openly discussed, provoking new ideas. It was a refreshing experience. The keynote speech and the panel were brilliant. Already looking forward to the next event.” — Mahoko Hara, Managing Executive Officer, Tokyo Century Corporation


23 january 2018

Diversity & Inclusion: What About the Men?

AWAR smashed records yet again as the aviation industry’s largest gathering of C-level and other senior executives working to address a single goal: the advancement of women in the global aviation finance business. Nearly 200 leaders from all of the major lessors, airlines, OEMs, banks, law firms and others gathered at the Conrad Dublin during busy conference week for the 4th Annual AWAR Dublin event. Mr. Simon Goodson, SVP of Rolls-Royce, opened the event with a passionate testimonial of Rolls-Royce’s industry-leading efforts to develop family-friendly work policies. In a brilliant keynote address, Mr. Peter Cosgrove, cpl Director and Founder of the Future of Work Institute, captivated the crowd with an eye-opening talk entitled: “Diversity & Inclusion: What About the Men?” Armed with their own experiences and the insights gained from Peter Cosgrove’s presentation, participants then got to work over lunch, brainstorming ideas to address some of the biggest roadblocks to women’s advancement — recruitment, sponsorship and visibility, to name a few — working together to identify actionable strategies to put into practice in their own organizations. It was an amazing and inspiring event for all involved!


31 october 2017

Innovation Through Diversity, The Business of D&I 

Keynote Speaker: Hayden Majajas, Asia Pacific Head of D&I at Bloomberg.  Hayden supports Bloomberg’s businesses across Asia Pacific in implementing Bloomberg’s global Diversity & Inclusion vision and strategy, to deliver a measurable improvement in diverse workforce representation and work environment inclusion. Additionally, Hayden has oversight across all Bloomberg Communities (employee networks) and external partnerships in the region that promote an institutional culture of inclusion and an environment that supports diversity in all aspects of the business.  Hayden was a Member of the Board of “The Women’s Foundation” in Hong Kong between 2012-2015, he founded the Tokyo LGBT Interbank Forum (now “LGBT Finance”) in 2005; the Hong Kong LGBT Interbank Forum in 2006; and the Singapore LGBT Interbank Forum in 2010. He was part of the founding group of Inter Energy in Singapore in 2013.

Tokyo 2017: Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable

21 April 2017

Our first-ever AWAR event in Japan was a great success! The event featured a roundtable discussion among many of the industry’s most esteemed women leaders in Japan, including Miyo Yajima of Sumi Trust, Mari Yamazaki of BOT Lease Co. Ltd., Debra Erni of Pillsbury, Sibylle Paehler of Doric and Asako Sakota of Tokyo Star Bank.

Attendees included some of Tokyo’s rising female stars in banking, law and other aviation sectors. Special thanks to our sponsor, Sumi Trust, for hosting this breakthrough event!


17 january 2017

Diversity: Mentorship and Sponsorship

Keynote Speaker – Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. Carla Harris is a Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley.  She is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. She formerly headed the Emerging Manager Platform, the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for Equity Private Placements. Ms. Harris has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors.

Hong Kong 2016: Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable

1 November 2016

The first Advancing Women in Aviation Roundtable Asia Pacific luncheon was held at the beautiful Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong on November 1, and was a big success! Thanks to my co-presenter Danielle Roman of Mourant Ozannes, Pillsbury Winthrop for sponsoring the event, and the great team at Airfinance for putting it all together. We had a wonderful group of 60 aviation professionals gathered to work on the challenges of attracting, retaining and advancing women in our industry. Thanks to all who attended!


19 january 2016

Women Matter – Unlocking the Full Potential of Women in the Economy 

Keynote speaker – Sandrine Devillard, McKinsey & Company, Partner and leader of their European Consumer and retail sectors as well as global leader of McKinsey’s Women Matter Research program.  Sandrine is a leader of McKinsey’s European consumer and retail sectors. For more than 25 years, she has served clients in consumer goods, retail, apparel, fashion and luxury, and commercial real estate. She is also a member of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) Council, which advises on MGI’s business, economic, and technology research agenda and publications. With the latter, she leverages her deep expertise on trends such as the impact of urbanization and technology on the evolution of global consumers and diversity issues. Sandrine is the global leader of McKinsey’s Women Matter research program, which she initiated 10 years ago, having published widely on the role of women in business since then. She is an international board member of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society, and is a speaker or active member within a number of international conferences on the subject. She is also a global leader of McKinsey’s internal Women Initiative, dedicated to developing women as leaders