Japan Airlines Appoints Former Cabin Attendant as First Female President
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced the appointment of its first female president, marking a significant milestone in a nation grappling with gender inequality in the workplace. Mitsuko Tottori, a senior managing executive officer with a history at JAL since 1985, including the challenging year of one of its worst crashes, is set to assume the role from April 1, according to a company statement.
The naming of the first female president at Japan Airlines coincides with mounting pressure on Japanese firms to enhance gender diversity and address a substantial gender pay gap, which surpasses that of the Group of Seven nations and is nearly twice the average of the advanced economies in the OECD grouping. Mitsuko Tottori acknowledged the challenges faced by female employees navigating their career paths or experiencing significant life events. In a news conference, she expressed empathy, stating, "There are female employees out there who are struggling with their career steps or going through big life events".
"I aspire that my appointment as president can inspire and empower them, offering the courage to embark on their next steps", stated Tottori. The leadership change coincides with Japan Airlines' efforts to rebound from the pandemic-induced decline, with a resurgence of tourists visiting Japan. The airline's safety measures have come under scrutiny following a recent incident involving a collision between a JAL plane and a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft at Tokyo's Haneda airport. Despite the dramatic event, all 379 people on board the airliner managed to escape unharmed as it erupted in flames. JAL highlighted Tottori's substantial expertise and experience in safety operations and service.