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Winners of the IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon announced

IATA and Amazon Web Services announced that SMBC Aviation Capital is the winner of the first IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that SMBC Aviation Capital is the winner of the first IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon.

The Winner: The SMBC Aviation Capital solution demonstrated a positive correlation between gender balance on airline senior management teams and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores to a CEO. 

In this proof-of-concept exercise, the winning team developed a data-led model that analyzed airlines across 12 countries, focusing on metrics around financial and ESG performance. The model produced ESG scores that improved the more senior leadership teams were gender-balanced. 

In addition, the winning team came up with the concept of a sector-specific Aviation Gender Equality Index to track performance of the entire aviation value chain in promoting gender equality through policy development and representation. Details of the winning solution are available here.

DEI initiatives drive business results. The SMBC Aviation Capital solution is custom designed to help airline managements measure the impact of a gender balanced management team on a company’s ESG performance. It’s a winning solution that we look forward to seeing in action by airlines as ESG metrics play a growing role in investment decisions.

Jane Hoskisson, IATA’s Director Talent, Learning, Engagement and Diversity

The datathon provided a fantastic opportunity for those taking part to explore solutions that will help strengthen gender diversity within the aviation sector. The use of data and the value that it brings can be transformational, and AWS was proud to be part of this initiative – congratulations to not just the winners SMBC Aviation Capital, but to all the teams that took part.

Charlie Anderson, AWS World Wide Public Sector

We are delighted that our team had the opportunity to take part in the datathon and to present thoughtful and practical solutions to the challenges we are collectively facing, demonstrating how our people are committed to IATA’s 25by2025 initiative.

SMBC Aviation Capital remains devoted to its ESG and gender diversity goals and we look forward to championing industry-wide initiatives in the future, where we can foster innovation and dialogue to create a more inclusive, diverse and sustainable aviation industry.

David Swan, Chief Operations & Sustainability Officer at SMBC Aviation Capital

The Datathon Challenge

Participants of the 2023 edition of the Diversity & Inclusion Datathon were asked to address one of the following challenges:

  • How to demonstrate to a CEO the impact of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion using data and/ or new technologies? Find out more.
  • How can airlines redress the gender balance on the flight deck and other technical roles through data and/ or new technologies? Find out more.

The Judging Panel

Submissions for the IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon were evaluated by a panel of experts from IATA and AWS. Key criteria taken into account included the originality of the solution, its applicability in the aviation sector and the value-add it would bring to further strengthen gender diversity of the industry.

About the Datathon

The IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon was open to professionals in the airline industry, including airlines, airports, software vendors, start-ups, systems integrators, and any other organizations working in aviation. All participants were granted access to an AWS environment which enabled them to build their proofs of concept. 

In addition, all teams were given an opportunity to join training sessions on technical and business topics which were held by AWS architects and industry specialists from IATA and its member airlines.

The IATA and AWS Diversity & Inclusion Datathon builds on the success of IATA’s 25by2025 initiative and complements the existing IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards which focus on recognizing individuals, organizations, and initiatives that have made significant contributions to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion within the aviation industry. 

In total, nine teams took part in the Datathon including representatives from Travelport, NA Group, The Halldade Group, SAA Technical, Webmanuals and IATA.

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