Celebrating Women in Aviation – Edith Mala Diop


Edith is a Mixed origin woman, rich in culture being French-Senegalese by her father and Ivorian-German by her mother. She is a Senior First Officer at QatarAirways, and the first female airline pilot of her country Ivory Coast.

She has been honored by her country not only by receiving the highest state order distinction; The National Order of Merit in 2022, but also a National Excellence Award at the 7th Edition in 2019 and a Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Award in Transport in West Africa in 2018 (MATAO Grand Prix 5th edition).

How you got into aviation


Her passion for aviation comes from an early childhood. She has been exposed from a very young age to this extraordinary world of aviation, surrounded by airlines pilots including her father and uncles.

However, it wasn’t until she started college that she really decided to become an airline pilot. This followed the premature death of her father, a former Captain at the multinational Air Afrique.

Technically she joined the industry right after high school, graduating aviation school at 21 years old and starting flying #A320 #airbus family aircrafts at 23 years old, followed by the #A340, the #A330 and now the #boeing #B777!

Training


After obtaining he scientific baccalaureate at the French high school Blaise Pascal in Ivory Coast, she entered the aviation school, the Aeronautical Institute and flying school at Amaury de Lagrange in France. After that she immediately wanted to go back home to Ivory Coast. There were not hiring pilot at the time so she started flying at Air Ivoire in different departments as a support officer such as library, human factor, flight engineering and technical department.
A year later she went for her #A320 type rating in #airfrance training center while still occupying thé office function upon return.

Current role


Senior First Officer for one of the biggest airline in the world, QatarAirways and Knight in the National order of Côte d’Ivoire.

Mentors


Honestly I don’t have only one. I crave empowerment, nurturing my inner fire and strength from all the women or figurehead surrounding me wether it is the famous one I can read about or honored to meet or the regular one I meet on a daily basis. Each teach me life lessons to keep and grow the momentum of inspiration and development I need to keep striving.

To name only few that inspire me, I will mention my mother: pharmacist widow for over three decades who raised three children alone, my Godfather Marcel Ottavi: ex captain instructor at Airfrance and was like a second father to me, Captain Maria the First Lady Captain I flew with, Vanessa, the first commercial instructor I met and consider like my older sister, the lady wearing a green and blue african wax on the street on my last trip back home in Côte d’Ivoire caring her child on her back while selling food on the street, all the women of the #99s organization particularly the African governor ~ Ivana Alvares-Marshall , all the women of the women in aviation International, all the women of the AASO, organizations that I am part of, and a panel of famous one.

Keys to success

Passion, perseverance, consistency, motivation, tenacity and particularly self confidence. They are the key to success. Don’t let anyone discourage you or tell you that you are not capable. You decide what you can or cannot by you attitude, and your work toward your goals.

Advice to others


“Make your life a dream, and make that dream a reality”. There is nothing impossible when you set your mind on it. I encourage tue african youth, the young women in general and specially my young african sisters to embrace aviation career or any STEM career.

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