It’s 2016 and women are perceived as being as powerful as men in most parts of the developed world. The fight for equality will never be over for some women, but the vast majority of people today accept that in most industries it’s the best candidate for the job that succeeds at interview, not the best man for the job. Yes, a “women in aviation” story still surprisingly hits the headlines with such things as the woman who, in 2013 refused to board a Miami to New York flight because the pilot was a woman; but thankfully this sort of thing is relatively rare.
When it comes to the gender gap in the aviation industry, it’s a sad fact that there are more women ground staff than men and more men pilots than women, but these gaps do appear to be narrowing. Stories about women like E. Lillian Todd who designed and built aircraft in the early 1900s; Helen Richey who is recognised for her achievement of becoming the first woman pilot for a US commercial airline in the mid-1930s and of course Astronaut Eileen Collins who became the first female Space Shuttle Commander at the tail end of the last century, all make interesting reading. But in 2016, although across the majority of the globe, gender discrimination in the workplace is an official ‘no-no’, you only need to wander around an airport to see that there are very specific gender splits in certain roles.
However, what is the reality when it comes to women securing their dream aviation job?
The aviation industry is highly competitive
Like most industries, jobs in the aviation industry are in limited supply and the number of people chasing these jobs is huge. No matter which gender you belong to, no matter what type of aviation job you’re after, you’re going to have to work hard to stand out as a candidate. All of that said, the track record of the industry probably does explain why more men are attracted to becoming airline pilots than women and why aviation ground staff is dominated by females.
If you’re serious about any job in the aviation industry, your gender alone shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals, but being realistic about the dominant genders in any part of the industry, no matter whether you’re seeking aircraft engineering jobs in middle east, aviation jobs Europe or in UAE will help you understand and appreciate what you’re up against.
It’s an industry that (quite rightly) demands exemplary standards
Safety and comfort are the name of the game in the aviation industry and the best person to achieve the high standards that all aviation companies are looking for is the best person for the job, irrespective of whether they’re a man or a woman. Knowing that you can deliver the highest standards of performance makes you an exceptional candidate. What you need to do is ignore any gender issues and go about identifying and describing why you are the best person for the job before you even start to worry about whether you’re male or female.
It invariably involves travel
In the good old days, women stayed at home and minded the children and men went out to work. Thankfully this gender divide has narrowed significantly in recent times, but the reality is that most men still appear to be more flexible than most women when it comes to being away from home for significant periods of time. The reasons for this could be anything from maternal instinct to a true desire to travel, but the trend remains the same. So if you’re a woman who’s keen to travel in the aviation industry, don’t let tradition drag you down.
Aviation has been traditionally portrayed as a split-gender workplace
Films, books and TV shows all affect our perception of the real world; like it or not. And the aviation industry gets as hammered as any other when it comes to gender stereotyping. But once again, this really is no reason to let yourself be put off if you’re an ambitious woman who’s keen to get on in aviation.
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