Sun, 29-May-2022
Monday 09 Mar 2020 , 1:11 pm

Women Leadership is Underrepresented in Aviation Industry

Aviation industry has failed to promote gender equality in all its work profiles. Available data shows that currently only 12 airlines have female CEO, president or Managing Director. Plus, with increasing passengers numbers, industry is facing lack of pilots and to bridge this gap, many airlines need to hire new female pilots to balance the process.
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United Nations Sustainable Development’s gender equality goal targets to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels involving decision making in political, economic and public life. Inequality is not just about the position but it is about the salary structure too. But unfortunately, there is still lack of female leaders in many industries. Data shows that a woman earns only 77 cents for every dollar that a man gets paid for the same work profile.

One such industry that failed to promote gender equality is Aviation. Dr. Rebecca Lutte, University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute—in her study of the nonprofit group Women in Aviation International—reported that, "Women are underrepresented in many areas of aviation, with the largest gaps in technical operations and leadership positions".

Women in Aviation: A Workforce Report by Dr. Rebecca Lutte shows that women make up less than 10% of maintenance technicians, airline executives and pilots. While considering the pay gap, data collected by UK government Gender Pay Gap Services in 2018 showed that Ryanair reported the largest gap of 71.8%. Where EasyJet had a gap of 45.5% but it said that all men and women employees in the same profiles are paid equally.

Also, CAPA-Centre for Aviation studied the state of gender diversity in the global airline sector in 2010. That time the study concluded demonstrated that only 18 airlines in around the world were under the female leadership. After continuous study in the decade, it mentioned that as of now, there is no improvement in the number of female airline chiefs. In fact the previous number is also diminished, currently only 12 airlines have female CEO, president or Managing Director.

The International Society of Women Airline Pilots presented the worldwide female airline pilot stats in January 2020. The data shows that there are only 5.27% female pilots and 1.42% female captains in global airline industry.

On the other side, the aviation industry is facing worldwide lack of certified pilots. Some air carriers are already seen reducing or canceling their flight schedules because of this shortages. Plus, with increasing demands in the countries including China, India and Indonesia, International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that the global air passenger numbers will reach to 8.2 billion by 2037. That’s why various agencies are demanding to hire thousands of new pilots including female pilots too to tackle the incoming crisis.

But, process of training to certification to become professional pilot requires large amount of fees. Plus, role of pilot demands time-flexibility. As there is no fixed work time, parents hesitate to encourage their daughter to opt for such career profile because it is expected that women need to take care of their home and children. It has been seen that many of female pilots are either on part-time contracts or on a flexible working pattern so that they can accommodate both their professional and home life. And if fail to balance it, most of them give up flying.

To encourage the women, many companies have started to invest in finding more women pilots through a scholarship scheme. Industry experts express that more initiatives need to be done across the industry to help and encourage female pilots to balance their careers with motherhood.

Neha Mule

Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.

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