Is gender still holding women back in the aviation industry?

Women in Aviation
  • by WSI Editorial
  • Mar 30, 2022
  • 0
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The aviation industries are high-stakes businesses, and gender diversity is critical to success. Organizations need to be better equipped to recruit talented individuals irrespective of gender, keep high performers, establish high‐performing teams. And discover creative solutions to new problems and opportunities, and assure long-term success through fostering diversity and inclusion.

However, gender diversity has remained a polarizing issue in the aviation industry. According to a report presented by the University of Nebraska, women in aviation are less in number in critical decision-making. And leadership roles and outnumbered in low-paying, low-profile jobs. The report stated that only 5% of females are pilot or airline captains, 3% are CxOs, 79% are flight agents, and 86% are travel agents.

In the past few years, it is evident that the aviation industry has attempted to attain gender equality. Still, it recognizes that more effort is needed in technical sectors like avionic engineering and cabin crew. More has to be addressed to entice young women into technological fields and men into frontline positions.

So what’s the solution? We can all have a role to play, and the research outlines several actions that businesses, HR executives, and people could do now and in the future. Persuading and educating more female aviation experts will be essential in helping the sector fulfill future demand for a qualified workforce. It includes fostering mentorship, having a broad pool of candidates for open positions. Highlighting and celebrating women’s success stories, and communicating that gender diversity is a top priority for a successful organization.

As an aspirant or part of the aviation industry, here is what you can do to jump the ladder of leadership roles.

Make confidnt choices

Make Confident Choices For Yourself

Women are usually excellent negotiators for their companies, but they may lack confidence in bargaining for themselves. Many successful senior female executives have stated that identifying your top objectives in terms of professional goals and desired salary level must be successfully articulated. Therefore, having the guts to be bold and open is essential for establishing a high-profile career in the male-dominated aviation industry.

Proactively Marshal Your Career in Aviation

To get to the C-suite, you must be able to communicate the value you offer to your company and aggressively advocate for yourself. Few but highly successful females in aviation render that proactive career management is critical to their success. When you speak up about your long-term goals and interests early on, hirers are more likely to remember you when relevant possibilities appear. Of course, their stories can inspire much female aviation workforce at lower positions to put in more effort and upgrade themselves to higher ranks.

Leadership Position

Support The Women in Leadership Positions

Aviation businesses must support new senior female executives and have a dedicated onboarding strategy in place for recruits to ease their transition. It’s critical to find and appoint mentors who can answer queries and guide them through aviation or aerospace industry-specific challenges.

Aviation companies are inherently conservative and risk-averse. And recruiting firms might play a more significant role in informing stakeholders. About the advantages of recruiting from outside the sector, particularly for senior leadership positions.

Women in Aviation

Job Upgrading Strategies For Women in Aviation

The Aviation Industry in different countries such as the Netherlands, India, and Australia supports the private and public sectors to collaborate to encourage more women to seek jobs in aviation. However, considering the industry’s continued focus on gender diversity at the highest levels, success for female executives remains uneven.

Businesses that are proactive about increasing the share of women in top positions need vigorous advocacy from the CEO. A comprehensive recruiting and evaluation method that reduces prejudice and preconceptions. And an effective internal supportive network for women recruited from outside.

In Europe, women account for 41% of aviation workers, although they make up a far smaller share of technical positions. Even though there are other different job options in this field to choose from, depending on one’s interests, including:

  • A Certified Aircraft Dispatcher
  • Avionics Technician
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Aircraft Engineer
  • Cabin Crew
  • Airport Manager

Women and men’s skills acquisition and usage and their views of their employment are still influenced by stereotyped beliefs. About their abilities and expected behavior. According to research conducted in Australia, even though women fared better than males throughout training, both men and women recruits had negative impressions of women pilots’ abilities. 

As a foundation for resolving gender-related inequalities, mentorship and crew resource planning must include how human interaction influences crew performance. To improve aviation’s high quality and adequate arrangements in mixed-gender situations, gender and inclusivity management can be an essential aspect of crew management training.


The same research stated that women in the civil aviation industry confront various challenges. In certain nations, the law regulates women’s working hours by prohibiting night employment. And barring women from several sorts of enterprises that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other impediments may be gender-specific, such as preconceptions that categorize certain occupations as more suited to males and others as better appropriate to women.

Other barriers are referred to as gender-intensified when they impact both men and women, but women disproportionately so. Inadequate daycare supply or employment arrangements that are not family-friendly are two examples. In other circumstances, women may be forced to reveal their marital status or the number of kids they have or to undergo a pregnancy test.


Involving women in consultant and search teams may also help provide a more varied pool of applicants to pursue aviation as a future profession. It’s also critical to track progress toward gender equality. Affirmative action has proven to be an essential tool in the fight against gender inequality.

Pay transparency policies, which include reporting requirements and protections for workers’ ability to disclose information. This can help to expose gender pay disparities and promote remedies. Increased female participation in civil aviation and eliminating all forms of discrimination will necessitate active involvement from all stakeholders. Including governments, international bodies— mainly the ILO and ICAO, employer and industry organizations, and workers’ organizations and enterprises.