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Ladies in the sky

Old 28th Mar 2021, 13:06
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
Example 1: most female pilots weigh less than the average male pilot, so they are able to carry more pax, freight or fuel on a typical GA flight (instructing or charter)

Example of systemic discrimination: most if not all aircraft are built for the average male. Rudder pedals, seat height etc are built for a male body. Women face a hurdle from their first flight in a training aircraft...those who make it make all sorts of accommodations for the fact that the aircraft they’re flying are built without any consideration for them.

We all have our strengths, but women have to overcome more hurdles to learn to fly.
Nicely put.

I like to think about it from this point of view:

If my daughter wanted to become a pilot like Dad, what obstacles stand in her way?

The previous poster mentioned grip-strength for nose-wheel doors on an HS-125, and ladder climbing on a Falcon 2000. That’s a pretty big generalisation... I have a female friend who is a kickboxer in her spare time. Not only is she taller than me, I’d say her grip strength probably exceeds mine.

Regardless, I’d have to be a pretty bad father to tell my daughter that’s why she can’t be a pilot. If that really mattered, then a small tool for the nose-wheel doors and a slightly taller step ladder should solve the problem. Next?

I would tell her that nose-wheel doors and ladders wouldn’t be her problem, it would be that she would have to deal with people who would assume she can’t do the job. For example, she would attend an interview with an HS-125 operator who would prefer a male. Or not even get an interview.

She would just have to deal with that.

It would be nice if, one day, she didn’t have to deal with that.

But before I go, I mentioned a hypothetical daughter, who might want to be a pilot, like Dad.

Anecdotally, many female pilots I have come across have had a pilot father, relative or friend. That has given them the initiative and drive to go for it, with the available help and mentoring.

I like to think of the average young girl, who’s mother might be a receptionist, or stay-home mum, and who’s dad might be a tradie, or not even in the family picture. What are her chances of even thinking of becoming a pilot, let alone working out how to achieve the goal?

You probably know such a girl... would she consider becoming a pilot? If she did, would her parents immediately dismiss her for even considering such an absurd life goal?

Is this a problem we need to solve? Is this even a problem?

I think this a more interesting discussion than so-called quotas.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 13:27
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sprite View Post
Example of systemic discrimination: most if not all aircraft are built for the average male. Rudder pedals, seat height etc are built for a male body. Women face a hurdle from their first flight in a training aircraft...those who make it make all sorts of accommodations for the fact that the aircraft they’re flying are built without any consideration for them.
The JPATS T-6 and PC-21 military trainer cockpits were specifically designed to accommodate a large percentile of male and female trainees. In time this will happen with all trainers, though it's a practical impossibility with aircraft designed in the 60s.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 18:34
  #63 (permalink)  

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Example 1: On the HS125 releasing and locking the nose wheel door latch takes a strong grip on some aircraft. I have not met many women able to do this. (the nose wheel doors have to be opened to insert the nose wheel locking pin before the aircraft can be moved)

I flew the Hawker 800XP from 2005 to 2016. About 4000 hours. Honestly never had a problem with the nose gear doors. Fun aeroplane to fly.

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Old 28th Mar 2021, 20:05
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Yes a great aircraft. I have 2000 odd hours on the Hawker 1000 and a few more on the 700, 800 and 900. Several had nose wheel latches that were hard to operate, particularly the 1000 srs. The handling is great, probably a result of its military heritage, as are Falcons.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 20:16
  #65 (permalink)  

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Tactical swearing seemed to work with the nose gear. The company I work for no longer have the Hawkers. We operated the H750 and H800XPC.
Now I'm pootling around in the Challenger 350. We don't put the covers on. The Falcons and the Globals don't either.
A risk assessment was done by the company and the risk to falling off the ladder versus what might happen overnight wasn't worth it. If we were parking the aircraft for long periods, then it's possible we'd be putting the covers on.

One time I elected not to put the covers on the Hawker. It was absolutely blowing a gale and I deemed it too risky with the straps flying around. As we were leaving the aircraft for a few days, when the weather calmed down the next day I put them on then. We were parked perpendicular to the breeze.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 20:26
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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We always put the covers on to prevent FOD blowing into the intakes. In the Summer to prevent birds nesting and icing in the Winter. It is a problem in high winds but we always did our best!
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 21:57
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PaulH1 View Post
We always put the covers on to prevent FOD blowing into the intakes. In the Summer to prevent birds nesting and icing in the Winter. It is a problem in high winds but we always did our best!
All that wind is drifting the thread....Concentrate, children.
Chicks were flying bombers across the North Atlantic during World War II and have been flying those tricky corporate jets all over the world ever since. I recall a slightly built French female crew flying a Falcon to Sumburgh in the Shetlands, where the wind could blow a dog off its chain. They managed to park it overnight just fine. Somehow they must have dealt with the covers.
They weren’t risk averse either. On another occasion they landed in rather nasty conditions after I had two goes in a DC 3 and went back to Aberdeen with my tail between my legs.

Last edited by Mach E Avelli; 28th Mar 2021 at 22:27.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 22:35
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skippy69 View Post
From a hiring point of view- do females get greater preference, I see some ladies getting positions that I would have thought that other colleagues where more suited for? Please leave sexism and misogyny out. Fairness is great, but sometimes I feel that at times it's too fair- if that makes sense.
I am aware of at least one female pilot in the company I work for who was given a definitive NO from the pilot interviewers who were subsequently overridden by the HR manager who cited a need for more women pilots. The result was an unmitigated disaster ending in rather public departure.

Take from that what you like but quotas or hiring preference for women is all bad just like it would be for men in a female dominated career. Merit is the only way to hire people.
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Old 28th Mar 2021, 23:50
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Wow, you just described how Jetstar got their previous CP!
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 00:21
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Merit is the only way to hire people.​​​​​​
Absolutely correct, the emphasis must be on having a level playing field with a fair and open hiring process which aims to get the best person for the job. If an employer ends up with a certain gender or race group predominating, they should have nothing to worry about if they can point to their selection procedures and show that every applicant was treated equally and fairly, and they simply employed the best ones for the job. If certain demographics are underrepresented there is probably a good reason, i.e. performance not up to scratch.

In the USA, African Americans make up 10% of the population but account for 70% of football players and 80% of basketball players yet no one is suggesting a quota to ensure that other races are more equally represented in professional sports. They got their place on the team because they were the best and can hold their heads high knowing that.

Quotas simply lower the overall standard by forcing hiring based on factors other than suitability for the job, talent goes to waste and underperformance is permitted.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 04:22
  #71 (permalink)  
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They will not tolerate any form of harassment and are openly supportive.
Does that also apply to WASHMs
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 04:41
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Look at the government now, a couple of senior ministers, including Defence, are gone, and the screeching call is to put women in the job. Not the best person, just a woman. Gotta have 50/50 they say. Horsefeathers.
As opposed to putting in so-and-so's mate from school/Uni/local branch operative/whatever?

Last edited by Pearly White; 29th Mar 2021 at 04:45. Reason: Addition of quote
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 05:08
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pearly White View Post
As opposed to putting in so-and-so's mate from school/Uni/local branch operative/whatever?
Also not merit based.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 06:07
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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If an employer ends up with a certain gender or race group predominating, they should have nothing to worry about if they can point to their selection procedures and show that every applicant was treated equally and fairly, and they simply employed the best ones for the job. If certain demographics are underrepresented there is probably a good reason, i.e. performance not up to scratch.
The issue with this is that the woke crowd will argue that there isn't equality of opportunity. If you happened to have a 100% merit system and that resulted in 95% white male/private school/ middle class background you would be hounded by HR about your lack of diversity regardless of how equal the selection process was.

Last edited by neville_nobody; 29th Mar 2021 at 06:17.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 09:12
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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I’ve never been part of pilot recruitment, but presumably potential applicants are both interviewed by pilot recruiters, and also simulator tested by pilot recruiters. There are also psych tests.

An interesting question is whether these assessments tend to favour males, or particular personality types that are more predominant in males, such as a Type A personality (more aggressive and competitive).

In my airline, a certain level of assertion was certainly a pre-requisite for command upgrades, so was probably also assessed during initial interviews. A certain level of assertion is certainly a desirable trait, but only when balanced with other teamwork and leadership skills. A Type A personality often doesn’t make the best pilot in a multi-pilot cockpit, particularly when the pilot may be lacking in other desirable skills.

A classic example is a famous QF pilot who suffered a serious incident in an A380 and authored a book. He was not well regarded by his peers, even before he wrote the book about how good he was.

In my experience, pilots who lack the required behavioural skills and try to re-invent themselves to stay in the job, often don’t do it well, and can fall apart if the sh1t ever really hits the fan. I can list one female and several males whom I have worked with who fell into that category. Some, however, do train themselves well given the time and the right mentoring and advice.

But, it’s not all about recruitment. The big question is, are there females out there, who would like to be pilots, and would make excellent pilots, that are put off by many reasons such as:

- peer pressure (the whole STEM for females being pushed at school and university is part of this)
- perceived culture (if I become a pilot will I be continuously having to prove myself due to my gender? Or could I be bothered trying to make it in a male dominated profession?)
- family friendliness (many females tend to regard themselves more as primary carers should they wish to have children - this doesn’t always have to be a problem, but it can form part of the decision making process to choose to embark on such a profession)
- an assumption that it is a “man’s game”, only fit for females who identify as “tom-boys” (I know an excellent female pilot who also doesn’t mind getting her hands greasy rebuilding old cars - but you don’t need a half-built E-Type in your garage to be an excellent pilot)

If obstacles such as the above can be minimised, which takes time, the right attitudes by industry, the right advice from career counsellors, the right attitudes by families and society, then maybe more than 5% of females would seek out a career as a pilot.

If all the above is addressed, and still less than 50% of commercial pilot applicants are females, then we could deduce that there is an underlying gender preference in our profession, in the same way that more females than males apply for ballet school, hairdressing school, or nursing.

Until the obstacles are removed, we will never know for sure.

I believe we should continue to strive to remove the obstacles, but gender-over-merit to achieve quotas is not the way to go, and I believe most female pilots agree with that sentiment. So long as the merit is fairly assessed, of course,
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 10:17
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
- an assumption that it is a “man’s game”, only fit for females who identify as “tom-boys” (I know an excellent female pilot who also doesn’t mind getting her hands greasy rebuilding old cars - but you don’t need a half-built E-Type in your garage to be an excellent pilot)
One of the best pilots I've ever come across was a real girly girl, into fashion, make up, cute little puppy dogs etc. She operated far better than most "alpha male" try hards, who thought their extreme sports hobbies and big 4WDs made them infallible pilots.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 11:49
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Changing society's attitude to traditional female roles is beyond the scope of airlines. All that can reasonably expected is a level playing field which aims to select the best person for the job. Most of us who made it into the airlines worked hard enough for it and would feel put out if we had been knocked back just so an inferior candidate could be employed on the basis of gender or race.

There is a film on NETFLIX called "Hidden Figures" which tells the story of a group of African American women working for NASA back in the 1960s. Attitudes back then were different and discrimination was openly practiced. These ladies battled all the way but were eventually played a vital role in the space program, which shows how wrong it was to discriminate based on their race and gender, talent was being suppressed and had the selection process been fair, they would have been promoted to their level of ability much earlier.

Hanna Reitsch was an very talented test pilot for the Germans back in WW2, it's reasonable to assume that it was because of ability not political correctness that she was flying the newest aircraft.

The Captain on the Southwest Airlines flight which had an uncontained engine failure back in 2018 was female, being an ex Navy pilot she would have been employed on ability and been in the top percentile of all pilots, not just female ones.

If I'm flying as a passenger, I'd like to think that those upfront were employed based on ability rather than to meet a quota.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 13:18
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Changing society's attitude to traditional female roles is beyond the scope of airlines. All that can reasonably expected is a level playing field which aims to select the best person for the job.
My lengthy post was intended to question whether the playing field is actually level when you take into account society’s attitude, airline attitude, culture and numerous other factors.

If the best person for the job happens to be a female who chose not to apply because her Dad told her “girls should be nurses”, or her school groomed her for a polite society in which girls don’t get their fingernails dirty, or she simply wasn’t interested in putting up with a misogynistic workplace for the rest of her life, then we didn’t get the best person for the job did we?

Instead, we got her brother who’s Dad bought him model planes since he was 5. His road was easy, and he had a good chance of making it even if his sister would have made the better pilot.

Culture plays a part in getting females to consider the profession. The airlines have a part to play in that, and it’s already started. If they send female pilots around to school career days, which I believe they have started to do, that’s awesome. I’d prefer it if they sent male & female pilots together, because then it wouldn’t look so much like affirmative action.

And I completely agree - as long as we can keep quotas out of the equation, and work on the real factors, then let the numbers fall where they may.

Do I agree with the 50/50 gender quotas that appear to be applied at the QF academy? No.

Do I agree with public statements by Airline CEO’s stating a goal of 50/50? No - because it implies a quota system even if they never implement one, and it pisses everyone off, especially females. But if they are saying it just to encourage females that things are-a-changing, then that’s noble, but not the right way to do it IMHO. Anyone in PR can state a “goal” or a “plan” without ever having to defend it’s subsequent lack of implementation. I prefer it if people speak the truth, even if they are employed in PR.

Having said all that, I might be a bit old school in saying that you will never really excel in this profession unless some part of your brain falls in love with it. It needs to be part of your life, not just your job.

That doesn’t mean you need a half-built RV7 in your garage, but it means you put in a bit more than the minimum required study to pass your next check.

I sometimes fly with pilots, male or female, who are obviously not particularly dedicated to the job. I’ve flown with a female who really didn’t want to be late home because the baby-sitter was only booked until 8 o’clock. That had the potential to interfere with appropriate decision making during the flight. It would have been very easy for me to jump to the conclusion that females with kids make poor pilots. But I’ve also flown with males who have demonstrated complete detachment from the job, and only view it as an income stream to support their other interests. Who would I like to be sitting next to if the sh1t hits the fan? Someone who knows their stuff, and cares a bit more than the bare minimum to maintain their job!

That’s why quotas won’t work. It’s easy for a CEO to state that their quota pilots meet all the required standards set out by the regulator, and have passed their “high standards of in-house training”. When something goes wrong, you need the best person for the job, and that person needs to care enough to train themselves way beyond the standards set out by the regulator.

So promoting the profession to females needs to go a bit beyond just flashy gold wings and epaulettes with big smiling faces saying “you too can fly”... the reality of the required dedication needs to be part of it.

P.S. If you’re reading PPRuNe, then you either already have the dedication, or you are just trying to work out which subsidiary pilots are currently trying to steal your job.
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Old 29th Mar 2021, 23:33
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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There is a need for female doctors but I don't remember any campaigns specifically targeting women to become doctors, however in some countries the girls outnumber the boys in medical school.

Prior to COVID, there was a looming pilot shortage and it was necessary to widen the net so that suitable women would apply. By having a greater pool of applicants to choose from, high standards could be maintained.

There is no need to have women on the flight deck, specifically because they are women. There is a need to ensure that they are aware that the career is available to them and that the selection process is fair and non discriminatory. A while ago I was operating a flight and while the pax were disembarking, an Indian man asked if his daughter could have a look at the flight deck, I obliged and a girl of about ten or eleven years old came in and started asking questions. I was happy to point out to her we had two Indian ladies flying for us and that the job was open to all.

She had an interest in flying at an early age and was more likely to have the dedication required than someone who needed to be persuaded to go into aviation and then advanced to make up a quota. I would rather be treated by a doctor who wanted to become one from an early age, rather than one who went into medicine for the money.

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Old 30th Mar 2021, 14:41
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Australia has more females than males in medical school.

https://medicaldeans.org.au/md/2020/...ics-Report.pdf

The country of your namesake, Singapore, actually used to have quotas in favour of male doctors, as there were too many female doctors, and apparently they didn’t work hard enough or long enough. That was abolished in 2003.

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapo...fting-of-quota

But I don’t think you can compare the two professions when it comes to gender bias. Females were doctors before the Wright brothers rode bicycles. I know quite a few female doctors, and they can dictate their hours to fit around their family, and can easily move from one practice to another if it’s not suiting them. Trying doing that as an airline pilot. The medical profession seems to naturally attract females. So far, the pilot profession doesn’t seem too.

I agree with the rest of your post, except that you have limited your “fairness” to the selection process only.

It doesn’t stop there, there is more to it than that.

We must also ensure that the workplace culture is fair.

This is a discussion happening right now in Australian federal politics, because their workplace culture has proven to be very poor.

There is no point having a gender-neutral selection process if the females are poorly treated by their male colleagues (or managers, or trainers and checkers) once they get the job.
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