Airline CEO Comfortable Being Openly Sexist
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said that a woman could not do his job. While he later tried to play the comment off as a joke, most people weren't laughing.
When asked why his job couldn't be done by a woman, Al Baker said: "Of course it has to be led by a man because it is a very challenging position."
The comment was made at a conference of the International Air Transport Association, where the subject of gender balance was a popular subject of conversation.
He said media took the comments out of context, and noted that Qatar Airlines was the first airline in the Middle East to employ female pilots.
Even if Al Baker was joking, his ease at using such sexist remarks in a public way showcases that objectification of women is still too easily accepted.
Al Baker has been known in the past for making sexist and ageist remarks against flight attendants on U.S. airlines.
It's time for Al Baker and those like him to recognize that it's not okay to make light of women or their accomplishments. In order to champion women, these kinds of comments must be called out when they occur.
Perhaps Al Baker missed the news about Tammie Jo Shultz, a pilot with great tenacity and valor.