Top L-R: Suzanne Boda, Deesha Desai, Jill Jensen, Patricia King
Bottom L-R: Bertha Gallardo, Jaqueline Edwards, Janelle Dee, Cynthia Schwenke, Kelsey Gion

Top L-R: Suzanne Boda, Deesha Desai, Jill Jensen, Patricia King Bottom L-R: Bertha Gallardo, Jaqueline Edwards, Janelle Dee, Cynthia Schwenke, Kelsey Gion

Female trailblazers in the aviation industry – from Amelia Earhart to Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo and Sally Ride – have served as role models for all who have come after them and paved the way for tremendous change in the workplace. American Airlines is working to build on their legacies by bringing more female leaders forward in the industry

“At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), we’re proud to have strong female leaders serving in important roles across our operation. In the spirit of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Council & Awards, I’d like to introduce and celebrate a few of them.”

—Suzanne Boda, Senior Vice President – Los Angeles, American Airlines


“The airline industry was not the career I had originally envisioned for myself in, but I’m so grateful to have taken this path. Being a woman in a leadership role for one of the largest regional carriers can be intimidating, but not with the support system and encouragement I’ve been given by my mentors and peers here at Envoy. There are not many companies that take a keen interest into your personal growth, but I was given a level of flexibility to go back to school and complete my MBA, while working full-time to support our fast paced and demanding operational jobs.”

—Deesha Desai, Vice President - LAX Hub and Western Region Operations, American Eagle


“My career has been so very rewarding. Having just celebrated 30 years of uninterrupted pilot employment, I feel quite lucky to have landed with the largest airline in the world! American Airlines provides even more opportunities for pilots through their cadet program and I am looking forward to seeing more young women among our ranks.”

—Jill Jensen, Captain, American Airlines


“Being a female leader in aviation demonstrates how far women have come in the workforce. Today, we are better able to pursue a career path based on our own individual capabilities. I’m proud to work for American Airlines because they’ve encouraged my career advancement based on gender equality and individual merit.”

—Patricia King, LAX Flight Service Manager, American Airlines


“In my role at American, I like to challenge myself and my team to develop their skills and push their limitations. There is a quote by Amelia Earhart that I live by, “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”

—Bertha Gallardo, Maintenance Crew Chief – LAX, American Airlines


“I started with America West in Las Vegas and my career has taken me many places around the country. I measure my success as a leader by how well the people who work for me succeed. My career path has taught me many things but this has always been a big part of how I lead.”

—Jaqueline Edwards, Manager – LAX Customer Care, American Airlines


“I have held many jobs with American Airlines in different departments. I am proud to represent a company that is diverse in all aspects of the workforce. Being a female leader has provided me with the opportunities to grow professionally and establish myself as one of the faces of American who cares about the company and all of our employees.”

—Janelle Dee, Manager – LAX Cargo, American Airlines


“As women, we play other roles in aviation, particularly in leadership. American Airlines has provided me with the tools and the opportunities to become an effective leader. They continue to support and encourage me in my roles dealing with the different types of people, cultures and work situations.”

—Cynthia Schwenke, Manager – LAX Customer Care, American Airlines


“Regardless of our gender, ethnicity or age, as a leader, I believe it is our responsibility to be a positive role-model, to share our challenges and experiences and to inspire those to dream big and grow. It is not about you, it’s about the people in your care and how you can help them succeed. “

—Kelsey Gion, Field Communications Specialist – LAX, American Airlines

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