Qatar Airways chief says only a man could do his job

The CEO of Qatar Airways, where women make up almost half the company's workforce, apologized for saying that a woman couldn't do his job because it was "very challenging".

More than a third of Qatar Airways staff are female, he said, including pilots and senior vice-presidents.

Qatar Airways CEO is backtracking on comments he made on Tuesday, insinuating that women could not run the airline.

The airline industry wants to attract more women, but no one seems to have told the trade body's new chairman.

Of his own job running one of the world's biggest carriers, Al Baker had this to say: "Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position".

That's when Al Baker said that "of course" it "has to be led by a man".

He said Qatar Airways was the first carrier in the Middle East to have female pilots and that the company had women in senior roles.

The comments reportedly drew groans and gasps from those present, and Mr Baker later appeared to try to clarify his comments. Two-fifths of Qantas Airways' senior management is female, including the heads of the worldwide and frequent-flier loyalty businesses, according to the airline's chief executive, Alan Joyce. "As a matter of fact (at) Air Italy the majority shareholder has shortlisted women to be CEO and as minority shareholder we are actively encouraging that".

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The boss of Qatar Airways has sparked a sexism row after claiming a woman would not be able to do his job. We see that they have huge potential in doing senior management positions, ' he said.

Al Baker added that "it will be my pleasure to have a CEO candidate I could develop to become CEO after me".

Qatar Airways may incur losses for the second consecutive year due to a 12-month political rift that led to a ban on the airline by four Arab countries.

Al Baker said he wanted to have "fireworks around" to motivate people to ask questions during the press briefing, even as the room erupted with noise.

"But there's a degree of optimism in our ability to handle it, we're stronger than we were a few years ago as an industry".

Mr Joyce said that having a diverse workforce could help drive profits.

But he said it was "going to take a long time to fix some of the issues that are inherent in our society", such as girls not studying science and technology in schools, which impacted their numbers in engineering and flying roles.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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