Tell your princess that they can command the sky.

by SHolmes on November 3, 2016 - 9:27pm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2016/06/23/why-arent-there-more-female-airline-pilots-this-high-flying-woman-is-breaking-boundaries/#4fdcefce3f96

 

The year is 2016 and after countless trips in an airplane I have yet to experience the voice of a female pilot over the public address system.  The sex ratio in the United States is 98.3 men to 100 women (Smirnova and Cai, 2015).  However, in comparison to the 53,000 members of the United States and Canada Airline Pilots Association, women represent 5% of their membership (Bloom, 2016).

 

As a baby boomer I don’t recall my parents addressing my future as a pilot, president or chief executive.  Nor have I read any future aspirations in becoming an airline pilot among the girls in my class yearbook.  In those days, job’s for women were in areas of nursing, teaching, homemaker, sales, librarian, secretarial and bookkeeping.

 

I wonder what it would be like hearing a female pilot over the PA system.  Would a voice with a higher pitch be easier to understand?  Would a woman’s voice be more comforting during turbulent weather?  Would she be proactive with scheduling and announcing adjoining flights?

 

Fortunately there is a shift in the workforce and women have chosen careers in the field of politics, medicine and business management.  However, with such a low percentage of women sitting in the pilot seat clearly we have to encourage our future young women to think higher, like 30,000 feet higher.

 

Smirnova, J., & Cai, W. (2015, August 19). See where women outnumber men around the world (and why).

               Retrieved November 03, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/08/19

               /see-where-women-outnumber-men-around-the-world-and-why/

 

Bloom, L. (2016, June 23). Why Aren't There More Female Airline Pilots? This High-Flying Woman Is Breaking

               Boundaries. Retrieved November 03, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom

               /2016/06/23/why-arent-there-more-female-airline-pilots-this-high-flying-woman-is-breaking-

               boundaries/#fdfe4d03f96f.

Comments

I've never thought of women being pilots. I'm so use to seeing men being the pilots and women serving people that I never thought the roles could be reversed. I just recently (about a week ago) came back from a trip to Ireland and with the bigger plane I took, there were men helping serve food and drinks and I remembering thinking how odd that was (because I've never seen it before). As far as women becoming pilots, it would definitely being surprising hearing a women over the intercom instead of a man. I wouldn't be against it as well.

Hi SHolmes,

This is such a great post. This is a topic I would have never thought about writing, or thought about in general. It's such a weird concept that I too, have never heard a woman's voice over the intercom during a flight. Not only that, but almost 100% of the stewardesses on flight have been women. It's strange to think that if a woman thinks about going into aviation, it's most likely to be a stewardess, not a pilot.

The way you approached this topic is also very interesting. Your title caught my eye because I thought your post would be along the lines of women empowerment, but I really like the way you incorporated not only women empowerment, but the benefits of hearing a woman's voice on a flight. The questions you ask: Would a voice with a higher pitch be easier to understand? Would a woman’s voice be more comforting during turbulent weather? Would she be proactive with scheduling and announcing adjoining flights?, are really interesting to think about. Perhaps people would feel more comfortable hearing a woman's voice during turbulence, and maybe they would be more punctual about the logistics of flying. Not only do women have the ability to be pilots, they may have the ability to be BETTER pilots.

I also really like the final sentence of your post. About how young women should think higher, like 30,000 feet higher. This is such a cool way to tie every single idea about women and aviation together.

Really interesting thoughts! Definitely a post to remember!

Hi SHolmes,

Great post! I never considered this before but you are completely right. I have never witnessed a female pilot speaking over the PA system before a flight. As disappointing as this sounds, my first response is that its the 'stereotype' or 'ideal' job for a man. Which is silly! However, I don't think it would make a difference personally if there were a women making a PA talk before a flight regarding my nerves. The most comforting part in my experience is the smiles from the stewardess, either man or women. When I see them calm that makes me calm.

Although, I completely agree with how you mentioned the field should be displayed as a male or female job in the media to help young girls understand this is a career option. Growing up young girls may have a passion to be an airplane pilot but are not even aware of their ability to become one. Media can influence someones decisions tremendously! This gender stereotype also is passed on to other careers as many of us know this already.

Just for an example, my father joined the military when I was young and a year later my mother joined to show us (the children) and specifically me (the daughter), that women can do anything. Unfortunately, my mom has told me many stories where some men at her work will say rude comments or jokes with her being in the military as a women. However, my mom has stood up for herself and the other women in trade, and kept working just as hard as anyone. It is important for young girls to be exposed to strong women and I would encourage the media to increase their gender neutral career advertisements more for the upcoming generations.

Thanks again!