Air India flies around the world and into history books: all-female crew

Commemorating International Women’s Day, National Carrier Air India has made history flying the world’s longest all-women operated and supported flight on the Non-Stop Delhi- San Francisco route. Close to 17 hrs and travelling a distance of around 14500 Km, the flight AI 173 departed from Delhi on March 6th at 0235 Hrs and landed San Francisco at 0621 Hrs.

The historic flight was under the command of Captain Kshamta Bajpayee and Captain Shubhangi Singh along with First Officers Captain Ramya Kirti Gupta and Captain Amrit Namdhari.

Speaking on this historic moment, Captain Kshamata Bajpayee said, “I feel truly blessed to be part of the Air India family. Only when you wish can you be granted that wish. Only when you dream can that dream come true.

On this special flight Mr. Ashwini Lohani, CMD Air India said “It is a historic flight and the longest operated by all women crew. The airline has immense respect for women and it is a symbol of women empowerment.”

Air India celebrates International Women’s Day every year by deploying women crew on its select international and domestic routes. This year for the first time, on the world’s longest nonstop flight, the entire flight operations from Cockpit Crew to Cabin crew, Check-In staff, Doctor, Customer Care Staff, ATC and the entire ground handling from operator to technician, Engineer and flight dispatcher and trimmer is handled by women.

Air India’s mission to make women self-reliant, forms a core facet of the national carrier’s corporate responsibility towards its women employees and reflects the “Truly Indian” tradition of showing respect to women. The airline has around 3800 women employees, including women pilots, cabin crew, engineers, technicians, doctors, security personnel and executives.

SOURCE: Air India

Realogy: D&I Champs

Realogy Holdings Corp., a global leader in residential real estate franchising and brokerage, received a Diversity in PR Award for its Realogy Diversity & Inclusion Council campaign aimed at engaging employees around diversity objectives, partnering with diverse real estate associations, and positioning executives from Realogy and its real estate franchise brands as thought leaders within diverse market segments.

“It’s important for companies to keep the conversation open at all levels about the positive impact of having an inclusive environment —  one where employees are engaged through a broad communication plan that elevates the importance of diversity and inclusion in making a company better while increasing its ability to attract talent,” said Carmen Mercado, director of strategic growth markets for the Realogy Franchise Group.

Results of the Realogy’s Diversity & Inclusion Campaign included:

  • Quadrupled the number of Employee Resource Groups companywide to eight active employee-managed groups in 2016 to help provide employees with a collective voice around shared concerns that help promote an inclusive workplace.
  • Drove significant attendance gains at company-hosted EXPLORE events for all brokers and agents at industry conferences around the nation, with a focus on the benefits of partnering with diverse real estate trade associations.
  • Partnered with diverse trade associations in supporting their mission and initiatives around home ownership for multicultural and diverse markets by empowering and encouraging employees, brand affiliates and independent sales associates to become involved, take on leadership positions both locally and nationally within the associations, and deliver rich content to its members.


Marie Capitan: 1st Blazing Torch recipient

Marie Capitan is the first recipient of the Blazing Flame Award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the representation of Native Americans in STEM. She is also the eighth person from Sandia National Laboratories, to be honored by AISES, Capitan who is Navajo and Alaskan is a diversity workforce specialist at Sandia. The Blazing Flame Award honors an outstanding professional who has blazed a path for Native Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers.

CyberVista: $250,000 in Free Training for Women, Minorities in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity education and workforce development company CyberVista  announced the launch of a new program designed to provide women and minorities with more opportunities to obtain certifications required to work in the cybersecurity field.

Through the program, CyberVista will provide $125,000 in free Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification test preparation courses to women and minorities in more than 30 companies that currently have the most open jobs requiring the certification. CyberVista will also match that donation course-for-course with up to $125,000 in free CISSP® certification test preparation courses to two of the leading diversity advocacy groups in the field—Women in Technology and the International Consortium of Minorities Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP).

“Today, women make up just 11 percent of the cyber workforce. Minorities represent just under 12 percent,” said CyberVista CEO Amjed Saffarini. “With a potential shortfall of qualified cybersecurity professionals estimated at 1.5 million by 2019, the industry simply can’t afford to ignore such a large pool of potential talent.”

“There is a glaring underrepresentation of women and other historically marginalized minority groups, specifically African Americans and Hispanics, in cybersecurity,” said Aric K. Perminter, President of ICMCP. “Increasing diversity is not just about growing the workforce, but also about encouraging the diversity of ideas that are needed to address today’s cyber threats.”

“In today’s market, there is enormous opportunity for skilled cybersecurity professionals, yet there remains a frustrating shortage of women in the field, particularly in management positions,” said Kathryn Harris, President, of Women in Technology. “We’re thrilled to work with CyberVista to provide more women the opportunity to advance their careers in cybersecurity through CISSP® certification.”

CyberVista’s CISSP® test prep program offers a new approach to cybersecurity training informed by decades of learning science expertise with sister company Kaplan, Inc. The course, a $3,995 value, includes the following unique elements:

  • Personalized experience: The only program that conducts an initial diagnostic assessment of each student’s level of knowledge to deliver a personalized and efficient study plan.
  • Most comprehensive: 300+ hours of structured learning including more than 70 hours of live and on-demand expert instruction.
  • Engaging delivery mechanisms: Includes lightboard technology and on-demand video, to provide an experience that more closely mirrors and even exceeds the benefits of face-to-face instruction.
  • A focus on practice: Includes more than 2,000 practice questions, flashcards and CyberVista Summary Notes.
  • Convenience: Live courses are offered online on weekday evenings to eliminate travel and minimize the impact on jobs and other obligations of working professionals.

“We feel so strongly about the need for diversity in the cybersecurity workforce, and are so confident in our unique approach to training, that we felt compelled to develop this program to expand access to populations that are underrepresented in the field today,” said Jung Lee, head of certification test preparation programs at CyberVista. “This program will not only help women and minorities prepare for and pass the CISSP® exam, but also to compete for the most in-demand job openings.”

For more information about CISSP® test preparation from CyberVista,

About CyberVista
CyberVista is a cybersecurity training and workforce development company whose mission is to create a cyber-ready workforce through personalized training programs that provide organizations with the people, knowledge and skills required to defend their most critical assets. With parent Graham Holdings Company and sister company Kaplan, Inc.’s innovative education technologies and personalized approach to learning, CyberVista offers a new vision for board, executive, and workforce cybersecurity education. For more information, visit

About Women in Technology
Women in Technology (WIT) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of advancing women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom—by providing advocacy, leadership development, networking, mentoring and technology education. With nearly 1000 members in the Washington, D.C. area, WIT’s vision is to empower women to be architects of change in the technology industry. For more information, visit,

The International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It began official operations in September 2014 and is organized exclusively for charitable purposes, to provide members with educational/technical scholarships, mentoring opportunities, professional development and networking opportunities. For more information or to become a sponsor, visit

SOURCE:  CyberVista

Five Diversity and Inclusion Moves to Make Now (or Why There is No Room for Naysayers and Negative Vibers)

By Simma Lieberman

Here are five moves you can make to support Diversity, build Inclusion and make an impact in your workplace and community.

1- Talk about Diversity and Inclusion and how we all benefit. Yes, it’s the right thing to do on the “people level,” but it’s not enough. Companies spend money, resources and  time because it’s in their economic interest. If you want help with articulating the business case, call or email us.

Become fluent in Diversity and Inclusion as drivers for innovation, and better workplaces for all.  Help others see that Diversity and Inclusion is in their interests and  fear, discrimination and exclusion make their lives harder, wastes energy, and imprisons their minds.

2- Pick the person who seems to be least like you at work and find an area of commonality to discuss. A 55 year old African-American client from New York shared how she worked with a 30 year old White man from North Carolina for six months before they had an actual conversation. She said they avoided each other and when they did speak it was tense. ” My parents had grown up during segregation in the South and when I heard his southern accent, it brought up the stories they told me.”

He was uncomfortable because she was older, and he had never had a female boss before. One day he saw a martial arts magazine on her desk, and they  both discovered that they  both had a passion for Tae Kwon Do. This changed their whole work dynamic, and he was one of her best employees.

3- Wear that safety pin. Someone started a movement to get people to wear safety pins to identify themselves to people who may be in danger of harassment because of their ethnicity, religion, race, or sexual orientation. This will also provide an opportunity to talk to people you don’t know who support diversity and inclusion, and educate others.

4- Speak up and out. When you hear people make statements that are against another race, ethnicity, religion, etc. say something and do something. Silence implies consent. Don’t give friends and people you know  “a pass.” You can make a difference.

5- Ask questions and share your stories with people who are different than you. Help people be less fearful  of the “other.” Seek humanity in others, and don’t be afraid to demonstrate yours.

Book Simma your diversity and inclusion strategist now to speak at your next meeting, conference or event. Call or email:  510-527-0700 or

Sallie Mae : an example of gender diversity

According to Women on Boards 2016, a report produced annually by The Forum of Executive Women and PwC, Sallie Mae is one of only 19 companies in the Philadelphia region to qualify for the Champion of Diversity award which recognizes public companies with 25 percent or more women on their boards of directors.

“By helping to make the dream of higher education a reality we are an equalizer of opportunity and that’s a view we embrace not just at the board level but throughout our company,” said Raymond J. Quinlan, chairman and CEO, Sallie Mae. “To best serve our customers and our employees, we seek diversity not only in identity but also in thought, opinion, personality, and experience, and we have those traits in abundance at Sallie Mae.”

The gender diversity on Sallie Mae’s Board has also been recognized by 2020 Women on Boards, a national non-profit organization working to increase the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20 percent by the year 2020. In its 2020 Gender Diversity Directory, Sallie Mae is listed as a “Winning (W) Company” for having at least 20 percent female representation on its board. Of the 1,744 public companies the organization evaluated last year, only 40 percent earned “W” designations.

“It is exciting to see a company whose mission is to help young people access higher education set an example from the very top that gender is no obstacle to achievement,” said Suzanne S. Mayes, president, The Forum of Executive Women.

Sallie Mae offers a variety of tips, tools, and resources to help students and families save, plan, and pay for college. Learn more at

10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians 2016

The 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians 2016 have been announced. This year’s winners are: Adrian Baranchuk (Argentina) president, International Society of Electrocardiology; Alicia Viloria-Petit (Venezuela) researcher/ professor, University of Guelph; Ana Dominguez (Colombia) president, Campbell Company of Canada; Andres Lozano (Spain), University of Toronto;  Antonio Caycedo (Colombia) scientist,  HSN ;  Eva Martinez (Spain) vice president, Women in Aerospace Canada; Guillermo Rocha (Mexico) president, Canadian Ophthalmological Society; Fr. Hernan Astudillo (Ecuador) priest/ musician/ humanist, San Lorenzo Community Center;  Joseph Bovard (El Salvador) Ontario Court of Justice; Julio Montaner (Argentina) director, BC Centre for Excellence. The 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians program is run by the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance in cooperation with the Canadian Hispanic Congress.

The Pride Logo

Following up on its perfect 100 score on the HRC’s Corporate Responsibility Index and Workplace Pride Foundation, IBM has introduced a new logo proving once again that it deserves the title of the most gay-friendly employer in the world. A rainbow version of the company’s 8-bar logo demonstrates its ongoing support of its employees and the LGBTI community at large.

“This is a demonstration of IBM’s continuing efforts to advance and influence nondiscrimination workplace policies consistent with basic human rights. The logo will be used in conjunction with diversity focused IBM programs and initiatives, and also in our pro-diversity advocacy.” ~Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, chief diversity officer, IBM

Canadian leaders join forces to ‘hack’ the gaps of diversity

Puzzled by the perpetual lack of diversity in leadership positions across Canada, leaders from Deloitte, Dentons Canada LLP, HSBC Bank Canada and the Government of Ontario came together to host Diversahack, a hackathon-inspired event. The result: a co-created sponsorship strategy that will propel diverse, high potential individuals to senior executive positions at Canada’s leading organizations.

Research shows that sponsorship — not just as a program, but as a corporate philosophy — is a highly effective way to accelerate women’s careers. In fact, 85 percent of sponsored women with children continue to work full time and seek out leadership positions, compared to 58 percent of those without sponsors. Yet organizations are not integrating sponsorship into their diversity and inclusion strategy.

“Mentors talk to you. Sponsors talk about you. Having a sponsor in your corner that will go to bat for you, and is invested in your career and growth, personally and professionally — the benefit is unparalleled,” said Miyo Yamashita, Managing Partner, Talent at Deloitte in Canada. “Providing opportunities for sponsorship is essential if organizations are to create the best conditions for their people to thrive. This will allow for deep engagement and ensure that the best ideas are on the table.”

“Sponsorship is a great way of tapping into the potential of an organization’s best and brightest, helping a diverse range of talent realize their full potential,” said Raman Rai, SVP & Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC Bank Canada. “A good leader often has a strong sense of self, while a great leader also enables others to believe in themselves.”

Despite the progress made over the years, women are still under-represented in leadership roles. According to Catalyst, women occupy less than 5 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies, although the participation rate of men and women in the workforce is roughly equal. This imbalance becomes even more mystifying when you consider the bottom line benefits of diversity — companies that have gender-balanced leadership outperform those that do not.

“We’ve found that diverse teams are more engaged, inventive and high performing as they are able to innovate and collaborate more effectively, and in ways that resonate deeply with our clients,” said Chris Pinnington, CEO, Dentons Canada LLP. “As an effective sponsor you have to put yourself out there, and invest in your delegate in a meaningful way.”

During the event, participants likened existing sponsorship programs to the movie The Hunger Games, where delegates are essentially competing with one another for a single sponsorship opportunity. To combat this issue, organizations need to foster an environment more like the television show The Voice, where all contestants are each encouraged to succeed. A three-pronged strategy was developed where delegates are identified based on their talent, and sponsors would be incented to act as active champions. To do so, they proposed flipping two core orthodoxies: that sponsors must pick delegates and that sponsorship must be a one-to-one relationship.

Through group sponsorship and providing delegates with the ability to choose their sponsors, diverse top talent across the organization would have equal opportunities for advancement. As well, delegates would hone their skills and team-working abilities, and staff across the organization would be inspired by the strategy’s success.

“Hack-a-thons are a new concept and if you’ve never participated in one it can be hard to imagine how people can come up with solutions in a very short period of time, but it happens,” said Heather Taylor, Assistant Deputy Minister, Chief Administrative Officer, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. “Diversahack wasn’t just a one day event, end of story. It was about creating actionable items that we can take away from today and implement in our organizations.”

The full report and additional resources related to Diversahack are available at:

About Deloitte

Deloitte, one of Canada’s leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe.

About HSBC

HSBC Bank Canada is the leading international bank in the country.