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Japan Airlines has started the year on a rough note. The airline has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the start of the year. However, I came across this story and found this one particularly heartwarming. It documents the rise of a flight attendant, who has now been appointed as the president of the airline.

From flight attendant to airline president

Business Insider reports that Mitsuko Tattori will now serve as the next President of Japan Airlines. The airline announced her appointment in a statement on Wednesday. Tattori first joined the company as a flight attendant and rose up the ranks over 20 years. She will take charge starting April 1, 2024.

Tottori’s appointment is a major step forward for women in Japan, a country known for a lack of gender equality in the workplace. In 2023, Japan ranked 125th out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap report, which tracks each country’s progress in reducing gender parity. In comparison, the US ranked 43rd on the index.

“There are female employees out there who are struggling with their career steps or going through big life events,” Tottori said in a press conference in Tokyo, per Reuters.

“I hope my appointment as a president can encourage them, or give them the courage to take the next step,” she added.

Tattori is now the first female President of a Japanese airline. Mostly recently, we saw JetBlue become the first major US airline to appoint a female CEO. Earlier this month, JetBlue appointed Joanna Geraghty as their CEO.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Overall, I’m thrilled to read this during a month when airlines have largely been in the news for all the wrong reasons. While there’s still progress to be made, Tattori’s rise from a flight attendant to airline president is truly impressive and a step in the right direction.

Do you think the travel industry in general does a good job at representing women? If not, how can they improve? Tell us in the comments section.


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