More work to be done on gender representation in aviation and aerospace, says 2022 IAWA Woman of Excellence

  • International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) names Katherine Bennett CBE as their 2022 Woman of Excellence
  • Bennett joins ranks of previous recipients, including pioneering NASA engineer and former Roll-Royce North America President
  • Bennett highlights that more work is to be done: “Less than 15% of global aviation and aerospace leadership are women”

10 November – Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, has been named 2022 Woman of Excellence by the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA), in recognition of her ‘unwavering commitment to the advancement and support of women’ in the sector.

The annual award recognises women who are leaders in aerospace and aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industries and are respected by all.

“Katherine’s unwavering commitment to the advancement and support of women in this field and the development of the next generation of leaders is unparalleled,” said IAWA President, Kathleen Guilfoyle. “I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this prestigious award.”

Bennett was given the Award for her commitment to women in the industry across the world, including her work founding the UK’s chapter of Women in Aviation and Aerospace, and her involvement in the Royal Aeronautical Society. The former Senior Vice President for Airbus in the UK is the eleventh recipient of the IAWA Award. Previous recipients include the pioneering NASA mathematician and engineer Dr. Christine Darden and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce North America Inc. Marion Blakey.

Katherine Bennett CBE said: “I am honored to receive the 2022 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award. When less than 15% of global leadership in aviation and aerospace are women, there is clearly more work to be done. I will continue to work on improving gender representation in the industry.”

Bennett joined the HVM Catapult as CEO in June 2021 following a 16-year career at Airbus, including as Senior Vice President leading the company’s external engagement and strategy in the UK. Ms. Bennett’s previous employment was with Vauxhall Motors where she headed up their government affairs function and prior to that worked for Hill and Knowlton Public Relations in London, working with a range of industrial clients. Bennett was awarded the Order of Commander of the British Empire in January 2019 for services to the aerospace and aviation sector.


About the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA)

IAWA is a nonprofit association providing a worldwide network dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries at all levels across the globe. IAWA sponsors informative meetings, hosts receptions, and connects, publishes newsletters, and keeps its members updated on the latest industry developments. Information related to the Association, its programs, studies and NextGen opportunities can be found at