Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker's sexist comments don't fly

Akbar Al Baker said his airline had taken steps to address gender equality but when asked why it was led by a man he replied'Of course it had to be led by a man because it is a very challenging position

Qatar Airways chief says only a man could do his job

"I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies for any offence caused by my comment yesterday, which runs counter to my track record of expanding the role of women in leadership throughout the Qatar Airways Group and has been sensationalized by the media", Akbar al Baker said in a statement.

In 2014, Qatar Airways defended policies on pregnancy and marriage for cabin crew after coming under fire over working conditions in the conservative Gulf emirate.

The CEO of Qatar Airways, apologized for saying that a woman couldn't do his job because it was "very challenging".

The comments reportedly drew groans and gasps from those present, and Mr Baker later appeared to try to clarify his comments. That's not the case at Qatar Airways, Al Baker told the reporter.

Chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the position was "challenging" and needed to be led by a man.

During the meeting, IATA announced that Al Baker's role as chairman of the board of governors will be for a duration of one year. The Qatar Airways chief past year apologized after describing American flight attendants as "grandmothers", as opposed to the average age of 26 for cabin crews working at his carrier. We see that they have huge potential in doing senior management positions.

'I think one of the reasons Qantas turned it around so dramatically is that we've embraced diversity'.

Promises by the global airline industry to do more to promote gender equality veered off course when one of its top executives suggested his CEO role was too hard for a woman.

"It would be my pleasure if I could help develop a female candidate to be the next CEO of Qatar Airways", the statement concluded.

Al Baker's apology was shared by Qatar Airlines.

"But there's a degree of optimism in our ability to handle it, we're stronger than we were a few years ago as an industry".

Cathay CEO Rupert Hogg said there were no immediate vacancies on the top team but there were women managers a level below and diversity was valued at the airline, which has staff from 75 nationalities and is a supporter of the Gay Games 2022 in Hong Kong.

"Aer Lingus recruited its first female pilot in 1977..."

But Mr Joyce said it was "going to take a long time to fix some of the issues that are inherent in our society", such as girls not studying science and technology in schools, which impacted their numbers in engineering and flying roles.

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