Women In Cargo Hall Of Fame

An Air Cargo News/FlyingTypers Original

   Our exclusive series “Women In Air Cargo” asks our readers to send some words and a picture about somebody that you know who is female and has made a difference in air cargo.
  This effort is not limited to just success or failure, it is meant to raise awareness about the legions of unique women who in most cases are unsung heroines in the air cargo industry.
  So write and we will share your story with our readers around the world.

Budoor Building Fortunes
Of SkyCargo

     It has been a fact of life in the air cargo industry that women have been relegated to positions of lesser importance than their male counterparts. Not much has changed in the sixty-odd years since modern air cargo was born above the Himalayas, when military supply flights were flown by the China-India-Burma Hump pilots – the transport arm of the famed Flying Tigers.
     “The old boy’s club,” is how dynamic Lisa Marie Turpin, top executive at Air Canada Cargo, described the situation recently in an interview with Air Cargo News FlyingTypers at CNS in California.
     Lisa’s talk with us was gently interlaced with a genuine smile, which only shows that in 2009 there are surely some females who have broken through the glass ceiling that once held women back from top air cargo posts.
     Lisa is one of many great female air cargo pioneers who comprise a growing list of top women managers in our industry. We dedicate this issue of our exclusive Women in Air Cargo Series to a very special woman who is not unlike Lisa.
     Air Cargo News FlyingTypers is proud to mark the Second Anniversary of gathering and publishing these exclusive stories. (See below for past articles)
     We are honored to be the first and only publishers of a continued series that recognizes women of our industry.
     Despite some advancement, it is not unfair to say that women in air cargo are a rare occurrence when one examines the Middle East.
     But there are signs of change, even in the most rigid environments.
     We met up with Budoor Al Mazmi at Emirates Airline headquarters. She is Cargo Commerical Manager at SkyCargo.
     The first thing one notices about Budoor is her level gaze, bright smile and traditional Arab Abaya and Hijab. She is dressed all in black as are many women in this region, whether at business or at home. It is a matter of tradition and pride.
     I have always wondered why anyone should find anyone else’s manner of dress unusual.
     In America, one of our most popular singing icons, the legendary late Johnny Cash spent the last fifty years of his life dressed head to toe in black and nobody thought very much of it. Even at 71 years old, he was still dying his hair jet black.
     The point, I suppose, is that one should be as comfortable in one’s own clothes as in one’s own skin.
     “I have been in air cargo for eight of my nine years at Emirates,” Budoor says.
     “The opportunity here at SkyCargo is both wonderful and challenging. At one point I was actually moved into the passenger operation for eight months, but when that mobility assignment ended I was very glad to come back to cargo.
     “My job here involves looking after IT service delivery to our outstations where I am in constant communication with people across our growing world network.
     “It’s both exciting and quite gratifying to work at building SkyCargo into a vital global resource.
     “I love the ability to communicate with people of different cultures and lifestyles all over the world while we are working together toward a common goal.
     “Best of all I am proud to represent Dubai as perhaps the only ongoing direct contact between here and many of our colleagues and customers.
     “The thing about the air cargo business is that progress to new ideas and formulas is continual and discovery is simply the way of life around here.
     “Put another way – there is never a dull moment around here.”
     We wonder where Budoor might imagine her career is leading?
     We ask if she might see herself eventually stationed at one of those faraway places with which she is in daily communication.
     She brightens at the thought and says:
     “My family is very traditional, so we are taking my career step by step.”
     It’s a good answer from a smart and savvy lady who gives every indication that nothing will hold her back.
     As women move further upward in the management scheme, it is certain there is no turning back, and no need to turn back.
     Credit must also go to Emirates for bringing the best and the brightest from the UAE into the great world airline building.
     Budoor’s boss Peter Sedgley, Senior VP Commercial Operations, Emirates SkyCargo has no doubt at all what she brings to the table.
     “Budoor was instrumental in setting up our cargo offices in the new headquarters.
     “She is quite organized, methodical and also imaginative, taking every project from start to finish and with great attention to detail.
     “Budoor Al Mazmi is very much the future of this airline,” Mr. Sedgley declared.