Believe it or not, black-owned airlines exist in the aviation industry which in most cases, has been dominated by the whites.
Well, a 29-year-old Bahamian attorney Rexy Rolle, the vice president of operations and general counsel of Western Air Limited continues breaking the glass ceiling by running one of the largest Black-owned airlines, which is owned by her amazing parents.
Although the company was founded by her parents Rex and Shandrice Rolle back in 2001, Rexy has led the charge in expanding her family’s privately-owned business.
With a net worth of $90+ million, Western Airlines has been steadily increasing its routes across the Caribbean, including direct flights to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and soon Florida.
In an interview with Rolling Out, Rexy described how Western Air came to be and shared advice on how to make it in the aviation industry as a person of color.
As a Black woman, she considers empathy as her superpower. “Black women can make hard work and challenges look easy,” she said.
“And as a woman of color, I like to think I have that power. I make it a practice to try to understand and feel another’s perspective because it helps me understand how best to communicate, interact and move. This is helpful in business, but of course in everyday life, too.”
According to Rexy, it is crucial for women of color to lead or work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities because ‘we’ have the courage and strong will to guide a team.
“Women of color are relentless, full of hope, intuitive and attentive. I think any team can benefit from a healthy balance of those traits. No one can intelligently criticize you, calm your anxiety and encourage you, all in one conversation, quite like another sister.”
Oprah Winfrey is among the Black woman history maker with significant contributions to society who has always inspired Rexy since childhood.
“I’m grateful to the type of boldness that she possesses. And even after public success, she was bold enough to pursue other interests and not be limited by people thinking she should stick to one thing…”
Rexy has three success habits that she implements into her daily routine to maintain her success/sanity/peace of mind.
First, she starts her day by reading the “verse of the day” on her phone and thanking God for everything He has provided and ask that God’s presence and favor be with her every day.
Secondly, Rexy thinks of a more significant purpose outside of money and material things that provide her real motivation. “My team of 140-plus people depends on me every day to make smart decisions. I think about the impact we have on someone’s day. That motivates me to push harder and work smarter,” she said.
Lastly, when work gets stressful, she has developed a habit of taking a couple of minutes to talk and laugh, read, fluff talk with her mom about what happened on “Housewives” the other night.
“It resets you for the rest of your tasks, which are usually very serious and intense.”
One person that Rexy could have as a mentor in the world would be Tyra Banks. “I admire women who are bold and successful through authenticity,” she said. “Tyra is versatile, unassumingly shrewd in business, beautiful, and relatable.”
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