10:34 GMT26 October 2020
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    The embattled Qatari CEO has been recently elected as the chairman of the transnational association of the world's airways, responsible for issuing guidelines to over 200 airlines.

    According to Bloomberg, Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker sparked a massive controversy moments after being elected as the new chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

    Speaking at a press conference following his election, Al Baker was asked what could be done to improve the rates of female employment in the Middle Eastern airways.

    READ MORE: Don't Fly Here: Saudi Arabia Revokes Qatar Airways Operating License

    Brushing off the suggestion that Qatar Airways lack gender diversity, Al Baker declared that a woman is not be capable of leading the airline, owing to the "challenging" nature of the job.

    "Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position," the CEO stated.

    The comments were met with astonished gasps and groans of disapproval from other attendees of the conference.

    Al Baker's sexist remarks are even more problematic, given his new status as the chairman of IATA, whose responsibilities include the formulation of industry policy and standards for some 278 airlines.

    This is not the first time that the Qatari CEO, who is also the non-executive director of Heathrow Airport Holdings, has caused a public outcry.

    For instance, during an earlier spat between Qatar Airways and its chief competitor, Delta Air Lines, Al Baker's vowed to "hang on the wall" Delta's CEO Richard Anderson.

    In fact, during the same IATA press conference, where he made his sexist remarks, the airline's executive promised to abstain from his controversial style, whilst chairing the organization.

    Although Al Baker quickly backtracked on his comments, stating that it would be his pleasure to "have a female CEO candidate [he] could then develop to become CEO," the Twitter community did not take too kindly to the embattled airlines chief.


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    gender discrimination, airline, misogyny, insensitive comments, sexism, Qatar Airways, International Air Transport Association, Sydney
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