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Qantas’ search for female pilots has led to more workplace harassment - Quartz

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Qantas’ search for female pilots has led to more workplace harassment - Quartz

Old 10th Nov 2019, 12:18
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exfocx said:
Absolute crap,
From 2019 Australian Institute of Family Studies research:
A study based on court files shows that in both court and non-court ordered arrangements, it is most common for children to spend the majority of their time with their mother and to see their father regularly.
Thus the courts are quite happy for the mothers to do the majority of the parenting
in the small proportion of cases determined by a judge, 45% of court orders provide for sole parental responsibility by the mother, and 11% for sole parental responsibility by the father.
And if the courts have to decide who will be the sole parent, it's usually the mother.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 12:25
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“sunfish”...you are irrelevant in this area. No experience as a professional pilot. (Very different from a private pilot...apples and oranges)

I’m glad there are many male pilots commenting about the lack of respect us female pilots sometimes get. It helps the troglodytes to realise they’re in the minority. I realise those who think female pilots are getting an advantage in recruitment are the minority...but seriously to those who think this, grow up and realise that women actually can be better candidates. It is possible that the females who are applying are more motivated and more qualified than the males, purely because we have had to fight harder and work harder to get into a position to apply.

Don’t forget we came from schools where the boys studied aviation but it wasn’t allowed for the girls...or where we were told to study “home economics” because that was “what girls should do”. And this happened this year at private schools! So those of us who chose to study in aviation are VERY motivated and very well supported by mentors. I also know by the comments on 121.5 that there are a large number of immature, unprofessional male pilots and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were those who also think women should “be in the kitchen” and not fly. These are the people who should be weeded out...and it is not surprising that they are all immature male voices we hear!
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 12:33
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Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
I’ve found that this thread is far more readable if you exclude posts made by exfsomething. He’s not even actually talking about pilots, which is the topic of the thread. If I was a mod, I would delete them all. In the meantime, the ignore button works.
Classic cognitive dissonance...”ignore logic! Delete the heresy!”

“While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience," committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).”
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 12:56
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Given the existence of the gender pay gap. Could I be forgiven for thinking that a largely female pilot group would be a cheaper and more compliant workforce?
You could be forgiven for thinking that, Sunfish. However there is no gender pay gap in the vocation of Qantas Pilots. A female pilot gets paid the same hourly rate as a male pilot in the same position. And a female pilot gets the same opportunity and treatment for promotion as a male pilot. The problem starts when you start misusing statistics. The average female pilot earns less than the average male pilot. Well of course they do! Demographics! There are more junior females than senior females.

Just to put it out there, some may have noticed that the average gay Qantas executive earns more than the average straight Qantas executive. Perhaps some affirmative action is needed. Why stop at gender?

To get back to the point, when I referenced a potentially cheaper and more compliant workforce with an increased female proportion of pilots in a recent post, I was referring to the collective, not that the females would be cheaper and more compliant than the males. I was referring to a trend that a workforce with a higher percentage of females may as a group be less likely to fight as hard the downward pressure on terms and conditions. I based this observation on active participation rates of females in AIPA over the years.

I also speculated that many female pilots may not care so much about their remuneration because anecdotally most of them have working husbands, and so their families are actually doing quite alright thank you very much. Whereas, many male pilots have wives who do not contribute significantly to the family income, and therefore have a greater interest in their earning potential for their famiily.

So, to be clear, the paragraph above is a “speculation”, which some may find unpalatable, however the one above that is an “observation”, which is vigorously defendable.

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Old 10th Nov 2019, 13:08
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Give me a single aviation related EBA that says a female is to be paid less than a man for the sane job?
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 14:18
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Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
I realise those who think female pilots are getting an advantage in recruitment are the minority...but seriously to those who think this, grow up and realise that women actually can be better candidates. It is possible that the females who are applying are more motivated and more qualified than the males, purely because we have had to fight harder and work harder to get into a position to apply.
I agree with your general sentiment. Like I alluded to in an earlier post, I think airline recruiters are aiming nowadays to avoid recruiting “those who will cause CRM problems in the future”.

Maybe they are looking for those who possess more empathy, better communication skills, better ability to work in teams and less driven by ego. It may be possible (and I’ll again add as a caveat - not certainly) that females are performing better on assessments in those areas than men.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 14:19
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Originally Posted by Sprite View Post


Classic cognitive dissonance...”ignore logic! Delete the heresy!”

“While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to "put it down to experience," committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).”


Hello Sprite,

I see you have challenged my suggestion that one particular poster be removed from the thread. I suggested they be removed because they were not on topic, argumentative, rude, distracting, and contributing nothing of interest to the discussion of female pilots in Qantas (the topic). If anyone would like to further discuss how various roles of housework have evolved in marriages over the generations I am happy to open a thread on Yahoo, and provide a link.

But for you to throw this at me: Classic cognitive dissonance...”ignore logic! Delete the heresy!”

... I have to admit to being a little offended. I do not think I am guilty of cognitive dissonance.

I have made a couple of posts on this thread that I really worked hard on, because I wanted to try to respectably portray my balance of thoughts on the suggested increase of female pilots in a long-haul airline with the realities of what I have experienced in over three decades of actually working for this airline (despite some dragging this thread into the gutter).

I have children, and I would fully support my daughter pursuing a similar career if it was in her nature, but I sure as damn would make sure that she fully understood the potential realities of what might entail if it was to become a 40-year career for her. And I’m not referring to the racist sexist homophobic misogynist arrogant beer-swilling point-scoring adulterous bullies who made my life difficult when I joined, I’m actually just talking about the job and what it entails - by then she might even get to fly with nice people.

Your PPRuNe name rang a bell for me for some reason and then I recalled that you made a post some time ago on another thread that I really liked, so I searched for it. Here it is:

Ironically in order to encourage more women pilots it could be that some of the things quoted earlier as potential reasons that women won't fly might be changed if there were more female pilots, leading to a more family oriented, well balanced career for everybody.
Why did I like that post so much?

Maybe because it opened the possibility that many of the things that I dislike about being an airline pilot, which I and many of my colleagues have being trying to address over so many decades, may actually finally be addressed if we get a few more females in the room!

Sure, even with females in the room, we aren’t going to be able to close the airline on weekends and school holidays, much as I would like to.

But maybe the females will be able to gain some traction that the males have been trying for years for. Maybe, just maybe, the female pilots will be able to somehow help us make this a more family-friendly occupation.

My earlier posts on this forum have suggested that this occupation is not particularly female-friendly... Can you fix it?

I also observed that female pilots have been historically disinclined to be active industrially. So maybe you could but you won’t.

Fred.





Last edited by Derfred; 10th Nov 2019 at 14:43.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 17:57
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Originally Posted by Derfred View Post


You may have made that comment tongue-in-cheek Dre, but it is actually a very valid question and there actually is an answer.

Under the legislation (and I don’t have it in front of me right now but I have read it before, so I may not have it accurate but I will give you the vibe), an employer must provide reasonable flexible working conditions to carers, so long as it does not unreasonably inconvenience the employer.

With a large female flight attendant workforce, Qantas is able to refuse carer conditions to flight attendants, because Qantas can reasonably demonstrate that they would otherwise be unable to crew flights 24/7/365 because a significant proportion of their workforce would actually qualify as carers. Hence NO flight attendants qualify for carers rosters. That is actually the case - there may be minority exceptions but certainly childcare does not qualify a flight attendant special treatment. They generally seem to understand that and many of them leave at some point. There are some career flight attendants but not a large proportion these days. They also have part-time provisions which pilots don’t generally have (despite the best efforts in recent EBA’s). Part-time is unattractive to employers of pilots because the overheads are very high.

However, with a mere 5% female pilot workforce, Qantas cannot make the same argument for pilots. Therefore, they find themselves legally obliged to give the female pilots a roster that suits their childcare requirements. This is typically something like working 3 days per week with all weekends off (B737 - I don’t have current knowledge of how it’s going in the long haul fleets). On the B737 in Qantas, many females with young children work to such a roster. Despite the overall average of females being currently around 5%, the demographic is such that the bulk of the females are currently junior, so the actual percentage in some bases and ranks is a lot higher than 5%, and so yes, the males, (many of whom also have kids) do actually end up having to work most of the weekends. I am not speaking here for what is proposed, I am describing what is actually happening now.

Now, someone above questioned my knowledge of the legislation when I mentioned that these carers rosters were only available to females. That was a bloody good question, and while I again can’t give a concrete answer, I can give you my understanding. The legislation, of course, does not discriminate for gender when defining who qualifies as a “carer”. But Qantas gets to discriminate on gender because a large number of their male pilots actually qualify as carers. Therefore they use the “flight attendant” argument for their male pilots! They can’t give them all carers rosters because they would run out of pilots. Yet, they hand them out to female pilots with kids almost no question asked. Now that might be legally questionable, but I think Qantas spend almost as much on lawyers as they do on PR, so good luck to anyone challenging it. I actually asked AIPA to challenge it many moons ago and I never actually heard the response because the background laughter kind of made the point for me. So as it currently stands, a female pilot can get a carers roster simply if she has kids. A male pilot cannot.

Having said all that, I will leave it to others to speculate what impact a progressive increase in female numbers will have. However, I will put out a suggestion that if it gets to a certain threshold, it is quite possible that suddenly the “flight attendant argument” will become valid for female pilots: “Sorry, there are now too many of you. We will have to start treating you equally with the male pilots. Carer’s rosters are no longer available, you are now required to be available 24/7/365 just like your male colleagues.”

So, to my good female pilot colleagues: be careful what you wish for.














not true....many male pilots are on carers lines. If you meet the requirements, you will be given a carers line.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 19:33
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Thank you for your reasoned reply Fred. I think all legitimate views should be considered and I think the poster you mentioned has actually made some excellent points. Deleting their posts would be a pity.

I think you’ll find we are a lot more active now than than we have been in the past, and are slowly having success at changing those parts of the job that we all dislike. We just go about it in different ways. Additionally sometimes it takes a critical mass of like minded people to get things done. It’s very hard to fight for something when you feel alone and unsupported in your view, much easier when there is a group supporting and encouraging you.

No we are not going to get every weekend and Christmas off. There are other female dominated professions who work shift work and do not get this so it’s not that putting women off a career in aviation. It believe it is possible to make the job more family friendly for everyone if we keep making that a priority in negotiations.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 20:42
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It's simple the pilot profession is not family friendly. You want to know? I, a man had to bring my kids to the airport and plant them in front of Sky TV while I flew. They loved it. I bloody didn't.
Another day I was held overhead. I turned up at school very late to pick them up.

I'm a man. Imagine being a Mother?

All of us who have children know the difficulty. My wife is lucky because I let it go. My wife has the good job. I walked away from flying and took on the boys.
That option is not available to everyone.

So it's no surprise that women aren't fifty percent of pilots.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 21:58
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If QANTAS (or any Airline) are serious about increasing the number of Female Pilots then they’ll address it at the grass roots level. Attend School Career evenings with Female role models to inspire more girls to consider Aviation as career.

Attempting to increase the number of Female Pilots hired from the existing pool of those already qualified, without addressing the supply, will lead to failure. It’s not like flying schools are seeing a 50/50 ratio at entry only for women to be culled by the patriarchy, they were never there to begin with as far more Boys consider Aviation as a Career than girls. Ive wanted to be a Pilot since I was 5 years old. I moulded my entire Schooling electives around a career as a Pilot. Why aren’t girls doing the same? Could it be we simply like different things? How many 5 year old girls have model planes on their bookshelf? I did, my 5 year old son does, yet my 8 year old daughter couldn’t give 2 stuffs about Planes, no matter how many Airshows I drag her to!

The fact is, there are female Pilots and have been for decades. There’s just less of them than males and that can only be addressed at the grass roots level, if at all.

As for some of vitriol being regurgitated on this forum (from both sides), I would of thought by now people would have realised that exaggerated arguments, hyperbole and virtue signaling does nothing to help your cause, quite the opposite in fact as once you lower yourself to that level, along with pointless personal attacks, people simply tune out.

I finished School in the mid 90’s and started training as a Pilot in ‘98. Never in my entire schooling life were girls “forced into Home Ec while the Boys took shop”. Not once did I witness girls at School being told they couldn’t be Pilots (or anything for that matter). Plenty of my (female) classmates became Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers and various other professions of their choosing.... admittedly I did go to a reasonably high achieving Private School. As a Pilot, I’m probably one of the least educated of my former classmates!

Once upon a time (when you needed thousands of hours just for a regional T-Prop job), to be a successful Pilot you needed to have a strong passion for flying. Plenty of women have this passion, and I’ve worked alongside them (in both seats) over my career. There was just less of them than men. I’ve also seen plenty of (Male and Female) Pilots fall to winds in the early years as they simply didn’t have that passion to do the hard years in GA before making it to the Jets. However, I have seen vastly more Women than Men who, having survived GA, elect to either stop flying all together or limit themselves to specific fleets/Airlines due to lifestyle considerations. Some might argue that these Women were “forced to do so” by their evil husbands who insist it’s the Women’s Job to stay at home, but I haven’t seen any evidence to support this. Most of the Women I knew personally who made this choice did so before marriage and kids had come along.

Im not saying institutional sexism didn’t exist. It absolutely did and my hats off to the ladies who fought back and got to where there are today. I also acknowledge that there are still pockets of that era who need to hurry up and retire. But the overarching reality is, there’s a shortage of female Pilots in 2019 not because they’re excluded by the patriarchy but because they simply weren’t interested to begin with. Those who are, and have the same passion as their male peers, have done just as well in my experience.

As for being called sweetie, cutie or whatever... join the club. I’m a 40 year old man with grey hair and a gut yet I get called the same names by “legacy crew” all the time. My first flight on the 777 felt like my first day at School! “Oh look how cute he is in his new uniform! You’re just a baby!” Etc etc... I was 35!! It’s seems a generational thing, not a sexual advance. If you don’t like it, speak up sure, but every generation has their lingo... I can’t understand half of the Millennials slang!
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 22:33
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In the US, pilots have the greatest adjusted gender pay gap of all professions, according to a Glassdoor report, with a 27% gap in base pay.
THis quote demonstrates that absolute dishonesty of the "gender gap" statistics. The vast majority of US pilots are employed by Part 121 airlines, and virtually every one of those airlines has a rigid, longevity based pay scale. Furthermore, a significant portion of the minority of working US pilots *not* employed at airlines are employed at large "fractional ownership management", or 91(k) operators, which also have large pilot groups, and a rigid pay structure based on longevity. For all these pilots there is *NO* gender gap in pay. None. Zip Nada. For those relatively few pilots not on such a pay scale, are there companies whose pay policies are not gender blind? Perhaps there are some few. But, the number of pilots who are not paid according to a longevity based pay scale is far too small to create and industry-wide "gender wage gap" of 27 per cent. It's simply numerically impossible for the pay of that few pilots to to skew the statistics of the entire industry, most of which has no "gender pay gap". So the difference is not a "gender gap" as in sense the oft repeated claim women are paid less then men for the same job. I don't know what causes it, but I do know for a fact that is is not because the industry, generally, has pay scales where women's are paid less than their male peers. I would speculate that if you looked at the seniority lists at most airlines the women tend to have less seniority (and longevity ) so tend to be a) on lower steps of their respective pay scales than the average male pilot, and b) tend to have a larger proportion of FO's to Captains than do men, again because of the lower average years of employment. My own employer would be a prime example. Fairly small pilot group, but have a greater proportion of women pilots than the proportion of US ATP holders who are women. But, they are all relatively low on the seniority list, and are all FO's. Lest any one try to jump to conclusions, there are no captains junior to any of the women FO's, and one of them was previously employed by the company and was a captain. She decided to seek employment elsewhere and left the company, and recently decided to come back after about 8-10 years of working elsewhere. Of course, seniority being what it is, she started out as a junior FO when she got rehired. And I can guarantee you that the base pay of every single female pilot at my company is *identical*, right to the penny, as each of her classmates with the same Date of Hire. But, I suspect that if the Gender Pay Gap enthusiasts were to analyze my company's pay, they would find a large "Gender Pay Gap", despite there being exactly none. Just for fun I ran the numbers on this for my company. If you have the pay scale and the seniority list, you know what everyone's base pay is. The professional Gender Pay Gap baiters would claim that my company has a 38 percent "gender pay gap" in for pilots, or that woman pilots at my company " get paid 62 cents for every dollar that the men get paid." This despite the fact there is not a fraction of a penny of difference in how men and women pilots are paid.

Last edited by A Squared; 10th Nov 2019 at 23:07.
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 22:47
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If there is a gender pay gap, why aren’t almost all employees (including pilots) female? If females are in fact paid less for doing the same work, wouldn’t the beancounters be screaming for most of the workforce to be female?
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Old 10th Nov 2019, 22:55
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
If there is a gender pay gap, why aren’t almost all employees (including pilots) female? If females are in fact paid less for doing the same work, wouldn’t the beancounters be screaming for most of the workforce to be female?
Exactly.

If the management of my company really did pay women pilots 62% of what they pay men, they would be hiring women pilots. Period. And I suspect they'd be looking for ways to get rid of the men. What company *wouldn't" wish to reduce labor (labour, if you prefer) costs by 38% ???

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Old 11th Nov 2019, 00:23
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How about stop the squabbling for a minute and remember the Air Transport Auxiliary women who flew in WW2.


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Old 11th Nov 2019, 00:47
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Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
No we are not going to get every weekend and Christmas off. There are other female dominated professions who work shift work and do not get this so it’s not that putting women off a career in aviation. It believe it is possible to make the job more family friendly for everyone if we keep making that a priority in negotiations.
This post in spades.

A lot of posters seem to be throwing their hands up in the air and claiming “piloting is too difficult a profession for most women to be able to raise a family in, that’s just the way it is”.

Why not push for more family friendly rostering, better access to child care for pilots, better support and integration for families?

This will benefit fathers as well. Everyone has families, even single male pilots without kids.

Of course we’ll never achieve a total 9-5 workplace, but maybe we can create working conditions a little better than they are now?
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 04:50
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Originally Posted by Chiefttp View Post
Exfocx,
I’m curious about your age. Many of the posters on this thread are describing a situation and events that they have personally experienced. I’m sure that there is a woeful lack of statistics or studies to prove what many of us, from over 40 years of flying, have actually witnessed. Nobody is against equal pay and opportunity, most are leery of these quota programs because we have seen where they lead.
The chart posted that showed United Airlines has the highest percentage of female pilots of all airlines. Do you know why? Back in the 1970’s the EEOC commission targeted United airlines for discrimination in a number of job positions including pilots. They were forced to correct the numbers and from the 1980’s till 1995 they hired a huge amount of female and minority pilots to correct the percentages and comply with the lawsuit. None of my non female, non minority, friends in the USAF even considered applying to United,
We watched as marginally qualified pilots were called by United 2 years before their military commitment was up and asked to interview for a position that they never applied for. United was actively recruiting folks who never expressed interest in employment at United. Also there were quite a few of sub 1000 hrs general Aviation pilots hired during this period..this is our experience, we were there. Also, please don’t assume this is a case of sour grapes, I was hired by United in 1995 but took another job elsewhere. We’re not Cavemen, just passing on knowledge of real world events as they happened versus what other wish happened.
and after almost 2 decades of non stop female and minority hiring they have 3% more females than the average. Sorry but I have never seen a UAL class picture where more than 20% were female & minority combined. Yes, it was absolutely easier to get a job at UAL in those years as a female/minority than it was 20 years before. One big reason: in 1960 ,as a female you would not get hired as a pilot. If you are worried about getting a job be better than the other white guy, because he is still your main competition.
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Old 11th Nov 2019, 05:17
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Originally Posted by Clare Prop View Post
How about stop the squabbling for a minute and remember the Air Transport Auxiliary women who flew in WW2.
Well, if you can't make an intelligent contribution, you could always try to deflect the course of the discussion with an irrelevant and irrational emotional appeal.

Hope that works out for you.

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Old 11th Nov 2019, 05:49
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
If there is a gender pay gap, why aren’t almost all employees (including pilots) female? If females are in fact paid less for doing the same work, wouldn’t the beancounters be screaming for most of the workforce to be female?
As referenced earlier, it is simple economics.

Substitute cheaper women for more expensive men.
Workplaces all over the globe ought be dominated by women....

A "manager" with self interest KPI would be hiring women like a drug addict looking for the next score....

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Old 11th Nov 2019, 06:14
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Why not push for more family friendly rostering, better access to child care for pilots, better support and integration for families?
This will benefit fathers as well. Everyone has families, even single male pilots without kids.
This is available already. It’s called a “Carer’s Line”. The unfortunate side effect of this is the non-carers line holders do a lot of the less palatable trips have more frequent reserve periods and generally worse rosters as a result.

Don’t get me wrong. There are pilots of all sexes who genuinely need a carer’s line but the flow-on effects for other (particularly the junior) pilots is a poorer lifestyle overall. They too have families and loved ones but by default spend more weekends away and have more disrupted rosters as a result of Carer’s lines.
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