Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer, Wizz Air Group.

Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air thrives in fast-paced job


Serving as Corporate and ESG Officer at Wizz Air Group, Yvonne Moynihan is a driving force behind the company’s sustainability ambition, which includes investing in a venture that is looking to turn human waste into jet fuel.

Her position, Moynihan explains, is best thought of as an umbrella role, encompassing legal, regulatory and government affairs whilst advancing sustainability work across the airline group.

“I’m also corporate secretary, liaising between the board of directors and the company,” she tells Runway Girl Network.

“I took on ESG [environmental, social, and governance] because I had an interest and qualification in it. It’s another central function, coordinating with all the business organizations.”

The industry’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050 drives much of Moynihan’s work. “We look at it in terms of milestones: 2030, 2040, and then 2050. We have metrics already established for 2030 and we’re tracking our performance in relation to them. We have employee and diversity targets too. We’ll plan for 2040, and then make a longer-term plan for 2050.”

Moynihan’s aviation career spans several low-cost carriers: Ryanair from 2014, Vueling from 2019, and Wizz Air from 2022. Ryanair and Wizz Air move at a faster pace than Vueling she says, before describing Ryanair as ‘the experience of my life’.

“I attended the ‘university of Michael O’Leary’ and that’s not an education that suffers fools gladly.”

Working at Ryanair, she adds: “You become skilled at multitasking, getting things done quickly, and finding the simplest way forward. As part of the IAG group, Vueling was a very different experience, but I learned about commonality, synergies, collaboration, and other ways of working.” 

Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer, Wizz Air Group, is pictured here smiling for a classic headshot. She is wearing earrings and a black suit.

Yvonne Moynihan, Corporate and ESG Officer, Wizz Air Group. Image: Wizz Air Group

Moynihan reckons it was purely by accident that she went to Ryanair. “I’d been working as a barrister for about seven years when I saw an advertisement in The Irish Times that said: ‘Workaholic Wanted’. It carried a photo of Michael O’Leary, and I thought it sounded exciting. I sent a CV. They called next day, and I was working there the following week. I gave up my practice as a barrister in a couple of days. I was immediately addicted to aviation and the adrenaline rush of constant problem solving.” 

Moynihan had been among a majority of female graduates from her 2007 class. “Within the bar it was quite different, although more women were coming through. At Ryanair I was treated just as a member of the team, while at Vueling I was in a majority female team and it’s the same across corporate functions at Wizz Air,” she says.

Nonetheless, age-old assumptions still exist. “I’ve been the only woman in the room and asked to make the tea, but my reaction means I’m never asked again.”


Moynihan is a believer in role models and lists four ‘strong characters’ in her career. “Susan Denham was the first female Chief Justice of Ireland and the only woman boss I’ve ever had. I reported to her as a legal researcher, and watched how she acted as the only woman in a room. She was gracious, always feminine, and true to herself. She taught that it was important to always be kind and, in legal work, to simplify everything.

“Second is Michael O’Leary. He’s a unique individual with a lot of time for people. He knew the names of everyone in the building and was careful to talk to them, while relentlessly focusing on business. You never told him no; you delivered creative solutions instead.

“Then there’s my current boss, Wizz Air MD József Váradi, a strong character and proponent of diversity and career development. I had the idea of marking Wizz’s 20th anniversary with a Women On Air event and he supported and personally sponsored it.

“Finally, there’s Bill Franke, chair of the Wizz board. He’s 87 years old and still working. I interact with him as corporate secretary and he’s very generous with his time and advice.”

Moynihan is a fast-paced individual who thrives on the next challenge. Can Wizz Air hold onto her? “There’s a new project every day here and we have a very strong sustainability ambition that we’re only just starting. There’s plenty to keep me busy,” she says.

She notes that Ryanair and Wizz Air are similar to one another, albeit the latter has an important social focus.

Related Articles:

Featured image credited to Wizz Air Group