Celebrating International Women’s Day

For centuries, women across the globe have worked together to bridge the gaps between many of the cultural, political and social divides they face throughout their lives. On March 8, International Women’s Day, we all have the opportunity to celebrate the strides that have been made and inspire action to pursue what is to come.

At Envoy, we pride ourselves on our efforts to provide growth opportunities that are diverse and inclusive across all areas of the operation. This year for International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight some of leaders at our stations based outside of the continental U.S.


We sat down with Envoy General Managers Delrah Lestrade-Lapsley of Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), Karen Joseph of Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) and Aretha Allen of Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) to discuss what this day means to them.


Delrah: “It highlights the achievements and contributions of women globally. Women as a minority have been marginalized as it relates to pay, job opportunities and self-development. This day is an opportunity for global citizens of all genders and all walks of life to reflect on progress made and address ongoing challenges for women.”

Karen: “It is significant to me because it allows me to reflect on the tremendous strides women have made over the years.”

Aretha: “International Women’s Day is a profound reminder of the strides we’ve made towards gender equality and the work that remains. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world while acknowledging the barriers we continue to face in many sectors, including aviation. To me, it symbolizes a global commitment to empowering women and advocating for equal opportunities.”


Delrah: “In 2006, Captain Beverley Bass became American Airlines’s first female captain, which broke gender barriers for others to come! Then, in 2017, Captain Kathi Durst became the first female Chief Pilot at American. And recent appointments of women to key leadership roles, highlights female contributions towards the direction of American Airlines Group.”

Karen: “Over my career I’ve seen an equal opportunity to attain all available roles in aviation.”

Aretha: “Throughout my career, I’ve witnessed remarkable milestones for women in aviation. The increasing presence of female pilots, engineers, and women in leadership positions within major airlines reflects a growing recognition of women’s contributions to this field. Notably, the appointment of the first female CEO, Joanna Geraghty of a major airline was a groundbreaking moment, signaling a shift towards more inclusive leadership.”


Delrah: “Sheila Jude was my first manager when I joined Executive Airlines in 2004. Her staunch stance on integrity, performance excellence, accountability and her genuine interest in mine and other team members’ personal development made a lasting impression on me. Today, I often find a need to use many of the nuggets of wisdom she imparted to be a better leader in this industry.”

Karen: “I’ve had a few mentors who have impacted me over the years. In particular, the way they have helped me balance work and life has been incredibly important to my career and personal growth.”

Aretha: “I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors and role models who’ve inspired me. Among my most influential mentors and role models are my work sisters, Tamara Johnson at FPO, Bridget Reckley at MHH and Monique Brown at GGT. Their journey through the aviation industry, marked by resilience, ambition, and success, has been a source of inspiration for me. Watching them navigate challenges with grace and determination taught me the value of perseverance and hard work. Their support and advice have been pivotal in my career, guiding me through decisions and encouraging me to pursue my aspirations within this dynamic industry.”


Delrah: “Growing up in a small Caribbean island, I was fascinated with the way airline workers looked and carried themselves. They seemed to belong to a separate society – they were always immaculately dressed in their uniforms and scarves. That coupled with the opportunity to travel to different places had me sold! So when the opportunity to begin a dynamic career with Executive and then now with Envoy presented itself, I literally jumped at the chance.”

Karen: “As a little girl I visited the airport and observed the important roles performed by different employees and I wanted to be a part of the industry.”

Aretha: “A fascination with traveling and the mechanics of aircraft initially drew me to aviation. The industry’s dynamic nature, offering opportunities to continually learn and evolve, cemented my decision to pursue this career. The chance to be part of a sector that connects people and cultures across the world was irresistible.”


Delrah: “I would like to see a steady increase in representation in key leadership roles throughout the company. Additionally, I hope for a more concerted effort from the corporate level to enhance work-life balance and create more supportive environments for career-focused women with families.”

Karen: “I’d love to see more conversations on balancing family and work.”

Aretha: “I hope to see continued progress towards gender parity in all areas of aviation. This includes more women in leadership roles, equal opportunities for advancement, and a supportive culture that encourages women to pursue careers in aviation. It’s also crucial to address and eliminate systemic barriers that women face, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive.”

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