Senate Resolution Would Promote Aviation Gender Parity


The week that includes International Women’s Day (March 8) has become an international effort focused on getting more women involved in aviation and now a couple of senators are trying to make it official in the U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., have introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate March 8-14 every year as Women of the Aviation Workforce Week. The Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide has celebrated the same week with hundreds of sponsored events all over world during its Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. Founder Mireille Goyer said the Senate action would be a big help. “If the resolution passes, it will make a world of a difference in motivating stakeholders in the U.S. and elsewhere to advance gender balance in all facets of the aviation and space industries,” Goyer said. Other groups, like Women in Aviation and The Ninety-Nines, also promote female inclusion in aviation as do airlines and other businesses.

The bill is intended to build on the work so far by raising awareness and committing the Senate “to take action to address the gender gap in air and space jobs and in STEM fields more broadly,” according to a press release from Moran’s office. “Women make up half of the workforce in America, yet still only hold a small fraction of the jobs in aviation industries,” said Sen. Rosen. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution during Women’s History Month to encourage more women to enter the aviation workforce to meet the needs of this growing sector, while also working to increase diversity in these high-demand fields.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. “…to advance gender balance in all facets of the aviation and space industries…”
    How DO you spell “quota?”

    Back in the 1950s, I was taught that what matters is what’s between your ears – not what’s between your legs.

    I’m all for women in aviation. But not BECAUSE they’re women. Or [insert woke “victim” group].

    “Gender BALANCE” is NOT an appropriate objective in ANY endeavor.

    How about promoting gender-blind competency? I can get behind that.

    • Agreed that quotas are not a good solution. But let’s face it, within out lifetimes there were times when women would have been advised not to enter aviation, simply because they were women. So I guess the question is how to effectively promote aviation to those on the outside looking in and seeing an industry comprised of 90% plus of a one gender?

      • They aren’t advised not to enter aviation any more. All you are facing is the distant past. Maybe you should do a 180 and “face” the present.

    • One of our local utilities has issued a decree that hiring must match the demographics of the community that they serve. Which means, hire because of gender, race, etc, and not because of qualifications. I am currently an instructor in the trades, and have been a strong advocate for persons of all races and gender to enter the trades. Some of my best students have been females. So my comment is not from the standpoint of a bigot, but rather that I believe and teach excellence. To employ just because of the way or color we are born is completely counter-productive. And to deny for the same is likewise.

    • I still remember growing up in the United States; where we had freedom to do whatever we wanted, with whomever we wanted. This is anti-American and sexist.

    • I couldn’t have said it better… for most things.
      oddly, I’ve changed my tune for women in aviation. Not because of what isn’t between their legs, it is because of body size and structure. Yes, heathy women are usually smaller than a healthy man. I would rather have 100 lbs of fuel, then 100 lbs of meat bag in front of the controls. Especially if it is a helicopter on a hot day high in the mountains… I want the smaller ‘human’ to be flying the helicopter.

      Because women are generally smaller humans, we need more to think about flying as a career. When I heard of an all female medievac flight crew, my mind went to how much weight they were saving, thus fuel… because I’m a man, people get triggered when I say, “if I owned a helicopter company, I’d want all women pilots.” I guess they think I want to get laid…

      There is yet another item that seems to make women pilots better than men. It is the distance of the arteries from the heart to the head. A properly trained woman can take more Gs than a man with equal training.

      I don’t think we need more women linemen in the NFL… but in aviation, yes.

  2. I don’t know how much the person in the picture weighs, but they are almost certainly doing damage to the cowling. The Cessna engine cowl is designed for aerodynamic needs. It is not a load bearing structure. And even if the cowling itself is up to it, the assembly is only attached to the airframe with rubber vibration isolators.

    • Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. I wouldn’t let my 40 pound grandchild sit on the top of my cowling, even if they were back against the windshield. Photos like that are, frankly, sexist and dumb. Having women sitting on wings or other parts of an airplane harken back to the ’40s and ’50s and don’t really convey the message that they are qualified to fly the airplane, just decorate it.

    • Actually, we do know about how much the person weights. I would say about 120 lbs., but not matter how much she weighs, what the girl is doing is wrong. The photographer is apparently ignorant of it also, and if the owner/operator approved it then they are also idiots. Can we just rip away the fraudulent do-gooder façade and speak the truth for a change!? Furthermore, I’ve been in aviation professionally for 30+ years and I see no significant gender discrimination these days, nor have I for quite some time. Another special week or day? There are so many, they don’t mean anything any more. I’ve just about bagged my limit on this garbage.

      • What better way to promote women than having one do something stupid and probably harmful to an aircraft? Yea, that will work….

    • Weight is the reason we need more women pilots… not what is between their legs. But, I do like what is between their legs, even though that isn’t politically correct anymore either.

  3. How about ‘gender balance’ in nursing?
    Won’t be seen in my lifetime.

    Two things are needed:
    – a free market protected by a justice system, then people can hire the best pilots as rational people do, anyone who is biased will not do as well in competition with them
    – publicity so more persons learn of careers

    The Canadian Navy is targeting young people of tribal descent as recruits. It has the advantage of cadet operations, which can be based in remote locations.

    ‘Equity’ is a Marxist notion based on denial of the effectiveness of the human mind for life, with the claim that entrenched interests have economic power.

    But there are many examples of gummint discriminating, such as the US gummint falling for the protectionist scam of pilot unions after WW II, who claimed that persons who test fly hastily assembled airplanes then ferried them across the stormy North Atlantic were not emotionally suited to fly airline routes in a better environment with support. IOW the unions coopted political power to achieve their agenda.

  4. As a physician and as a commercially rated pilot it is obvious to me that professional achievement should only be merit based. Otherwise its not an achievement but an entitlement. Also, who would NOT want the most qualified person to be their pilot or physician? How is this even up for debate?

    I was born and raised Orthodox Jewish; since became a grateful Christian 38 years ago. There are few Orthodox Jews in professional football. Should I be affirmative actioned into a QB spot? Maybe the Browns?

    • What part of anything to do with this post has to do with “affirmative action”. If anything this post has shown the issue is the culture proliferated throughout this industry – of course women don’t want to be around people who speak like they do here.

  5. The Department of Labor spends a lot of money creating a report on average wages for different jobs that is of almost zero value to young people choosing careers. If instead, they did a report that was aimed to inform people of compensation, risks, flexibility, etc. it might be a help. Of course, it would probably get warped into uselessness in more attempts at social engineering. Also, it would likely make aviation look even worse until it forced change.

    If you really want more women in aviation, you might triple the amount of outdoor physical education in public schools. Seems like most the young men coming out of school barely have the stamina for the jobs as it is, so the young women are doubly disadvantaged. You have to be reasonably healthy to work on a tarmac without being miserable. If you grow up spending an hour a day outdoors, aviation isn’t going to look good.

    • Good health is essential, physical strength does not necessarily equate to size.

      My data point is the pilot who brought the last flying Bristol Freighter to the museum in Wetaskawin AB – a small female who had worked flying the beast into and out of a difficult strip at a mine in northwest BC.

      As for careers, USAF has been accused of a recruiting move it did not take full advantage of. Standing outside a C-5 airlifter at an airshow were two attractive young women, dressed in blue coveralls. They were the pilots. (Should have had bars on their shoulders.)

      • I’m not sure where you got the idea I was commenting on size. I was commenting on stamina and toughness over the macro. Anecdotes are not data. Nowhere did I say there are not women that are tough enough.

        The point is that if a job takes a certain amount of physical toughness, then on AVERAGE more men will qualify. If you lower the physical toughness of the ENTIRE Population then the amount of people tough enough will fall. Therefore you will have even LESS qualified women than you do now. The ratio of qualified women to men will likely fall.

        • “If you really want more women in aviation, you might triple the amount of outdoor physical education in public schools. Seems like most the young men coming out of school barely have the stamina for the jobs as it is, so the young women are doubly disadvantaged. You have to be reasonably healthy to work on a tarmac without being miserable. If you grow up spending an hour a day outdoors, aviation isn’t going to look good.”

          Your entire point is brutally ignorant.

          Seriously. Brutally ignorant.

  6. The Government is handing out money like candy which is likely going to cause hyper-inflation soon. There are SO many other pressing problems in out Country / Society that these people could be working to solve yet they’re churning out crap like this (and HR 1). It’s all smoke and mirrors and bravo sierra !! The doors to all occupations are already open to all. Just try to exclude someone or entity or group from anything. I’m getting sick and tired of all this “Woke” crap !! Every time I read stuff like this, my BP goes up. Another one is the Black Pilot’s Assn. I think I’ll go start the WOMPA … White Old Men Pilot’s Assn and see how THEY like it (women and blacks need not apply). AND … on the way over to my WOMPA meeting hall, I’m gonna ID myself as a woman that day and go into the women’s bathroom at the 99’s meeting. See the problem?

    I watch a lot of programs on the AHC channel. THIS is how Hitler initially divided and then conquered the people of pre-WWII Germany … by dividing and conquering all sorts of groups and satiating them with goodies until they could no longer resist the orders of his totalitarian Government. Wake up people !! I dare say that we here “get it” but the rank and file schmo out on the street doesn’t have a clue

    AND … OH … if a female sat on top of the cowl my MY C172M, I’d yank her off the airplane so hard and fast that her hair would fall out. What a stupid picture. NOW they’ve riled me up …

    William K has it right … ” professional achievement should only be merit based. Otherwise its not an achievement but an entitlement.” The end.

    • The fact that we don’t have inflation as the government hands out money like candy should have everyone worried… there is no economy to support the American people, just government… that is very very bad.
      Most of the time a major war is used to ‘fix’ things. That means millions must die, and COVID isn’t even tipping the bucket.

  7. I’m tired of “identity politics”–lawmakers, corporations, and everybody suffering from “entitlement shaming” pandering to every “special interest group”.

    Government has declared (correctly) that all should be equal. Government should enforce that law–NOT set “quotas” that unfairly discriminate against better candidates passed over just to meet those perceived “quotas.” Let everybody have the same learning capabilities–let everyone apply for a job without reference to race, ethnicity, or gender–and hire the best PERSON.

    Yes–men get hired as pilots more than women–and women get hired in the nursing fields more than men. That isn’t discrimination–it is self-selection–more men are interested in aviation than women, and more women are interested in a medical career than men. There is also the biological angle–men don’t bear children–and some women would rather stay home with children when the children are young (bless them for that–it’s really NEEDED to day!)

    Try as the industry might to attract women to aviation (and NOT just the cockpit), there are fewer applicants–fewer that complete training–so fewer that make it a career. I’m not in favor of throwing roadblocks to stop women–those that complete the same training as men DESERVE their positions–but the reality is that despite all of these years trying to attract women to aviation, the percentage that even start a career continues to be small. I don’t advocate making it HARD for women to start training–but we do them (and the industry) of making it too EASY as well. Flying airplanes–(military or civilian), controlling traffic, or doing inspections SHOULD be hard to make sure that standards are maintained. Slackers (of either gender) are weeded out–no exceptions. Would you want it any other way?

    • Jim … absolutely correct !

      In 1972, when my first hitch in the USAF was coming to an end in northern CA, I recall going for a electronics tech job interview in the Bay area on a Saturday AM. When I got there, there were about 10 men there for that same interview. The interviewee came out and told all of us that before the interview, he was giving us all an electronics test. When I did mine, I clearly remember using scientific notation to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. (This was before 99 cent 4-function calculators). When it came time for the actual interview, he told me I had the job because I was the only person to get 100% AND did that. He also told me a story that stays with me to this day … of him previously getting down to two candidates who were equal in every way. So he threw a piece of paper on the floor in front of his desk and asked the first one back in for a ‘fake’ question. The applicant comes in, looks down at the paper and sits down. When the second applicant came in, he looked down at the paper, picked it up and handed it to the interviewee and was hired before he sat down. Now picture him having to hire some minority or other person because of quotas. In the USAF, you have to have a degree to become an officer; doesn’t matter what it’s in. I knew an SR-71 pilot who had a degree in music. Reason: Because finishing a college degree says that you were able to play “someone else’s ‘game’ for 4 years.” All this crap started when we started giving out participation trophies.

      Ten years ago at a technical college in Oshkosh — ya’ll can figure it out if you want — they were starting a new A&P class consisting of the highest scoring hand selected people. They were all males. When a female came along, they took one of the higher scoring males out of the running just to be able to say they had gender equality. She only lasted a couple of months before she ran away with someone. True story. That’s what these numbskulls in OUR Congress want.

      And THAT is why I now choose to fight back starting with being uber-outspoken. THEY may win … but by gosh they’ll know I was here Looks like I ain’t alone …

      • Your the problem.

        Your entire point has no facts and is purely based on hearsay.

        How about some more made up facts you may have heard on a facebook post or internet forum about aviation?

        You should feel awful for wasting the brain power to even type your post.

  8. It’s inspiring to hear so many people speaking out for the Forgotten 94% in aviation!

    If you read the article (it was short, you can do it) it talks about ENCOURAGING women in these fields. No mention of quotas.

    People get interested in what they have experienced. Providing more experiences for women in aviation, and showing them that other women are doing this and succeeding, will make it POSSIBLE for girls/women to see themselves in aviation careers and in GA aircraft. Why does this get everyone’s knees jerking?

    As for GA – if your A&P, or airport office or everyone-hangs-out-here hangar has a calendar (from 1978, probably) with nekkid women on it, that’s their right. But don’t tell me that women have an “equal opportunity” when they do.

    • You may want to re-read the piece.
      It talks about “gender BALANCE.” Exact words.
      I know the difference between equality of opportunity, and equality of outcome.

      • YARS, you’re the epitome of a disgrace to aviation and an internet tough guy, I am sure you are incapable of being ashamed of yourself but you really should be.

  9. This is another attempt to resurrect the old affirmative action programs of the 60’s and 70’s. They were dismal failures then and will be again if legislated. As it stands right now, nothing more than window dressing for appeasement via Senate resolution for another week of the year designated for special focus on what is perceived as a lack of women participating in an aviation career.

    Who is deciding there is a lack of women participation? The Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide and a couple of Senators seem to be promoting a “gender gap” as the primary cause for low percentages of women to men in aviation careers. But who is asking women why they are not a larger percentage of the aviation workforce? The WIA and 99’s are doing what they can to promote aviation. That is a good thing. However, I don’t see they are making the claim a gender gap is the problem, therefore to solve this perceived inequality, legislate affirmative action policies.

    Of the 150+ Young Eagles I have flown over 60% have been girls. Since inception, the Young Eagles program has flown 2.5+ million kids along with direct contact including many additional flights for the parents of these Young Eagles. Arguably, that has positioned GA in front of 4-5 million people of which 1/2 half would be women. I am sure the EAA has some stats on all of this. Yet, in spite of all these efforts, including WIA and the 99’s, the percentage of women pilots and mechanics have remained similar ever since Wilber and Orville. Why is that?

    Ask women about their desire to work in aviation and aerospace. A large percentage do not want to be involved in aviation. Airplanes are not a foreign object to women. Neither are cars. But the vast majority of women do not want to race a car or fly airplanes. I am sure the number of licensed American drivers are about evenly split between male and female. But like within aviation to gain a pilot’s license to fly professionally or recreationally, there is room and opportunity for women to become professional, amateur, or hobbyist race car drivers. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of women do not have that desire equally as men.

    I am all for equality in pay and opportunity no matter the career choice. I am all for education regarding aviation career opportunities for all people including promotion of these at various local, regional, and national levels. However, we are being a sold a false bill of goods that we are a unisex society with male and females always wanting to do the same thing. In addition to the unisex society push, how do the affirmative action aficionados handle those who do not want to be labeled unisex, having changed their minds of gender identity. They would be also outraged at affirmative action pushing the platform of “gender gap” being promulgated by the advocates of the unisex society. At any given time, they could be on the wrong end of the unisex, “gender gap” proposed legislation.

    I would also surmise that the vast majority of aircraft owners, are married. My wife has flown with me over 400 hours. I know many other men whose wives have flown with them. Never has my wife said, I want to become a pilot. She has helped me buck rivets, done compression checks, handled the radios, or man-handle our airplane ( how do I say manhandled in a unisex society?) into the hangar, but never once say…I want to be a pilot or mechanic. I would be tickled pink ( can I say that in a unisex society?) if she wanted to. She has lifted countless kids into the cockpit of our airplane during airport days, Young Eagle flights, or at fly-ins promoting aviation to both genders. But she does not want to become a pilot, mechanic, or aerospace engineer.

    Flying, aviation maintenance, air traffic control, space travel, etc demands the best qualified people period…no matter who they are. The best qualified are those who have the desire, training, and practical knowledge to become part of the aviation workforce. That is how to promote aviation and its equal opportunity for anyone.

    Since 1903, we have seen a steady percentage of man and women who have those desires regarding aviation careers or recreational participation. No amount of unisexing efforts, affirmative action is going to change that. Legislating it has a historic track record. And that track record has led to more segregation not more integration. Another signs of the times.

    • True… there isn’t enough women that will sleep with women.
      The Senate needs a resolution to make more women want to sleep with other women.
      We need quotas.

      • Jim and Richard you’re the problem.

        It’s because human beings like you feel that their ignorant opinions need to be heard that women do not want to get involved in aviation.

        If 60% of young eagle flights are women, and in your opinion far less than that ever become pilots something is obviously happening between that flight and their pilot certificate.

        Wake up call: It’s all of the people like you who unfortunately saturate this industry that create the environment that repulses women.

        If you think genetics has anything to do with acquisition of knowledge, execution of performance, or improvement of craft you couldn’t be more wrong.

        The issue is the culture that human beings like you proliferate pushes specific demographics away.

        Yes. You are the problem.

        • That’s two comments with mysterious leaps of logic, Doug. Do you want to change minds or virtue signal? You aren’t really succeeding at either. If our girls and women are depending on you and your tactics, I’m afraid they will be losing, rather than gaining ground.

          Please get someone outside your bubble to help you improve your comments.

          • Explain where my leaps in logic are and I’d be happy to listen.

            This isn’t an accusation, simply calling out people who are the problem.

            An issue that arises is that when someone who is a part of the problem is confronted, they aren’t open to conversation or even the concept their world view might be part of an issue that with a small tweak could have a significant change.

            They then feel “attacked” and start accusing people of _______.

            I am always open to conversation and improvement as a human being and expanding my views.

            One guy here is trying to equate this to WW2. Are you kidding?

          • Doug,
            Sorry I missed this earlier. The two I was speaking of were when you quoted me and called my point “brutally ignorant”.

            No logic, no refutation, you just jump to ignorant.

            Then, on another post you do similar thing only make it personal and say two posters are the problem. You jump from the fact that half young eagles participants are female to the cause being the environment caused by people like them.

            I’ve been in several industries, but didn’t get that much exposure to the people in them until after I arrived, so your leap seems flawed to me.

  10. So, if I were a young woman considering a career in aviation, I would read this article and say “Hey, there are people out there that want to encourage me to be part of this field!”

    Then I would scroll down, and read all these comments jumping to the conclusion that employers are going to be forced to hire me regardless of my skill (and that all my coworkers will assume I’m not qualified and got the job because I’m a woman), that simply encouraging women to enter aviation is “woke crap” or “anti-American” (actual quotes), whatabouting nursing, implying that this will force skilled men out of jobs for unskilled women, and not a single traditionally female name writing a comment. What do you think my conclusion would be?

    “Aviation doesn’t want me”

    You commenters should be ASHAMED of yourselves.

    One commenter said 60% of his Young Eagles have been girls, but then in the next breath said women are not as interested in a career in aviation. They obviously have an interest in aviation, so what’s stopping them from making the jump to a career? Maybe it’s all the men making comments about physical strength and endurance, talking down to women, calling them “honey”, hitting on them, or all the men bemoaning that they can’t say certain things anymore, or the men with mediocre skills who get passed over for hiring for a woman of higher skill then declare that it’s “affirmative action” or “quotas” (all things I have personally witnessed constantly for decades). Maybe it’s a lack of role models. Maybe it’s a general societal “norm” that aviation is for men. Men fight to keep this door shut and have made it socially incredibly difficult and unpleasant for a woman to join aviation as a career. But the way to break all of that is to be accepting, to treat women like the equals they are, and to treat them with respect.

    The comments on this article, just like the comments on nearly every other article about women in aviation (Here’s a depressing way to spend an hour: go onto Facebook and look for an article on the all-female Delta crew flying a group of girls to NASA a couple years ago…read the comments), make it very clear who is discouraging women from entering a career in aviation.

    • I am glad you made this comment, you’re completely correct. Almost all of the commenters on this post are the problem.

      It’s easy for them to leave disparaging comments online because they have the protection of a computer screen, they wouldn’t speak their comments out loud at oshkosh or in front of their wives, but they’re internet tough guys.

      We do have a silver lining, they’re on the way out and hopefully some nominal % of their ignorance will go with them.

    • Alex,
      Any women deterred by the comments on this page isn’t likely to make it through the hurdles in the path of everyone of every type. As an army officer, I have known women who could do any job in the Army. I did not know any so deluded that they thought women were on average as capable of meeting the physical challenges of the job. NONE. They all new they had to be more above average than the men. They did not care. What they did care about was that at the time, many jobs were still out of bounds to them even if they could meet the men’s requirements. What they did care about was that many male leaders were never going to give them a fair chance. There were various opinions in the affirmative action methods to ensure that more of them got commissioned and had successful careers.

      I’m quite certain they would agree that our schools and culture are raising kids that are too soft and that this has more impact on the girls than the boys when it comes to career choices requiring physical toughness.

      I am fully aware that your and Doug’s reactions are likely well intentioned and probably ingrained by people who helped raise you, but those reactions are the problem. If you care about a problem, you honestly try to find solutions that will work. You don’t whine about how other people are the problem. It doesn’t help solve the problem.

      If you know something that actually works, offer it. If you think you know something, propose it. If you just want to blame people, it’s not making you part of the solution, quite the opposite.

      • “But the way to break all of that is to be accepting, to treat women like the equals they are, and to treat them with respect.”

        Just because you chose to ignore it doesn’t mean I didn’t say it.

        But the point of my comment was more that the majority of comments on this post are either entirely ignorant of the problem, or actively participating in the problem. Either way, they need to be called out.

        Frankly, this is how change in attitudes and behaviour happens. When men call out other men on inappropriate behaviour, the social pressure mounts. I’ve seen it in my workplace over the last 15 years. We have a long way to go, but it was a very different place when I started, and most of that has come from people calling out other people when they’re out of line on something.

          • No one is drawing lines. You’re inventing them in your head.

            Just not sitting back and listening to opinions posted by people using the internet shield and fake usernames who are contributing to an overall negative impact on an entire industry with actual baseless claims and hearsay presented as facts.

      • The problem is the culture you’re proliferating by saying women are more soft then men and that if someone read the comments on this post they wouldn’t make it through anything.

        I don’t need to know you to call out the fact that just your base points are not only inaccurate but part of the greater problem of ignoring issues and displacing blame on other groups of people.

        If I heard you talking about this in an airport lounge, Airshow, or flight line I would call you out on it. No need to know you personally required.

        That tone of discussion and attitude is in itself the point of issue.

        People don’t want to be around an environment where they are treated as inferior until they prove their better then the “average man”.

        If someone does challenge your view you don’t have a discussion, you aren’t open to hearing any other point of view, you simply close down because you won’t listen because you feel like you know everything based on a very limited experience of your own in life.

        The point is that everyone in the industry needs to call out the negative speaking culture when they see it happen. Just because you lived through events in your life that were accepted at the time doesn’t mean that they were right, and it doesn’t even mean you have to crusade to fix it – but by allowing the culture to still exist because it’s “not your problem” just helps contribute to the problem.

        Ignorance isn’t an insult, it’s simply the lack of knowledge. We’re all ignorant in many ways, that’s the truth. However on this point it’s the promotion of ignorance through lack of challenge when that ignorance is demonstrated by others that simply contributes to the issue.

    • Alex, you said…”One commenter said 60% of his Young Eagles have been girls, but then in the next breath said women are not as interested in a career in aviation. They obviously have an interest in aviation, so what’s stopping them from making the jump to a career?”

      You ask a question…and then off to the races assuming with your answer…”Maybe it’s all the men making comments about physical strength and endurance, talking down to women, calling them “honey”, hitting on them, or all the men bemoaning that they can’t say certain things anymore, or the men with mediocre skills who get passed over for hiring for a woman of higher skill then declare that it’s “affirmative action” or “quotas” (all things I have personally witnessed constantly for decades).” …deciding this is who I am and how I think regarding women.

      No where in my life, nor in my marriage, as a father with now grown daughters, certainly not in aviation professionally or recreationally, and especially with young girls wanting a flight during a Young Eagles outreach do I fit ANY of your stereotypical profiles.

      You cannot seem to understand nor accept the thought that many women are simply not interested in aviation. I, as well as many other Young Eagle volunteers, have flown a lot of young girls who enjoyed the flight, was offered the same ride, with the same opportunities as young males. The EAA Young Eagles program with the participation of pilots like myself and thousands of others is now going into the third decade. Yet, with all this exposure, women’s professional participation has not gone up appreciably much. Why is that? Could it be, they may enjoy the ride but do not WANT to pursue an aviation career?

      You seem to think because they were participants in a Young Eagles rally, they therefor had a prior interest in aviation. How about their parents heard about the rally and suggested they take an airplane ride? I ask every one of my passengers how they got there and why they want to take a flight. Once they finish their flight, I have no more input nor can I influence anymore, how they process that flight into a potential career choice. So, I make a very concerted effort to make their flight as smooth, calm, and enjoyable as possible, answering any and all questions, hoping this might be a positive catalyst for becoming an aviation participant irrespective of their gender. I do this with the desire that I am perhaps planting a seed that might eventually mature in another airplane nut like me.

      My flight instructor was Linda Hamer. She is an Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame member, first woman IAC president, former acro competitor, aerobatic judge, is one of the finest pilots I have ever flown with, who loves to instruct. Our first aviation missionary graduate we trained was a woman. She is both an A&P as well as a pilot with instrument and commercial ratings having served as a mission aviator which includes maintaining several airplane in Guyana and the Philippines among other areas of service. She took her Instrument check ride two weeks before giving birth to her son. I also participated in an “affirmative action” experiment initiated by Delta Airlines at ORD in the early 70’s while working as a ramp agent which related specifically on integrating women into airline ramp work.

      Be very careful when you try to put me and other commentators into your stereotypical boxes. All I have said, is after all of the efforts of many large aviation organizations such as the EAA and AOPA, including WIA, they results have been statistically the same regarding women in aviation. For that matter, the numbers of both men and women participating in aviation professionally and recreationally has been fairly consistent relative to the US population as well. Maybe you have another definitive yet stereotypical answer for those numbers as well. Inquiring minds would like to know.

      • Your entire opinion of “women just aren’t interested in aviation” isn’t based on any actual facts.

        It’s a simple conclusion that you’ve drawn because you don’t see as many women in aviation in the long term. Which is a flawed conclusion.

        We’re simply pointing out that the culture that exists in this industry (as demonstrated by yours and others posts) creates a significantly more negative environment for women to have to negotiate to start than a man.

        Because of this of course human beings take the path of least resistance and go somewhere that they are going to feel valued in their daily efforts.

        The only person that is putting themselves in stereotypical boxes are you and others posting negatively and saying things like:

        “I have a wife and daughters”

        “I had a female flight instructor”

        These things do actually prove any points, or prove you aren’t contributing to the issue, they simply indicate that yes you do infact function around females from time to time.

        The fact that you feel like you just know that women aren’t interested in aviation and that the other commenters immediately go negative as soon as women are brought up only emphasizes any point being made.

        Print all these reply’s and take the entire article to a few psychologists (diversify the group of them) and ask what they think.

        Better yet, bring it to women pilot groups and ask them to weigh in and actually listen to what they have to say about it.

        Then think on it.

  11. All the government programs in the world will never make the pilot work force 51% female. I believe we could push it artificially to 22% or so.

  12. It’s disgusting to see all of these comments.

    However lets take the positive from this.

    It should be obvious to anyone reading these comments that the actual reason for the low numbers of women involved in aviation is the culture created by the current group of participants.

    The ignorant comments on “woke” people or “affirmative action” or “gender bias” only negatively impact aviation. The same commenters who say “I stand behind the most qualified person getting a job” will immediately turn on anyone who surpasses them based on performance and disparage that same person who out performed them because they can’t take the hit to their very fragile ego.

    Before you keep this negative rhetoric going why don’t you do a reality check.

    The world is changing, all of it. It’s leaving you behind, we appreciate the things you may have advanced in your time but I hope that the younger generation that is quickly replacing all of you internet hero’s will follow the path of getting rid of the awful amount of ignorance that you’ve all displayed.

    Read your comments to your wives mothers and sisters without telling them you wrote it and see what they say.


    • “ The ignorant comments on “woke” people or “affirmative action” or “gender bias” only negatively impact aviation. The same commenters who say “I stand behind the most qualified person getting a job” will immediately turn on anyone who surpasses them based on performance and disparage that same person who out performed them because they can’t take the hit to their very fragile ego.”

      That insult, which is rude under any code of conduct, deserves an apology. You don’t know anyone here, and have no basis for it besides your own dogma. Once again, Doug, not helping anyone.

      • I have a basis for that comment based on the things these people write on posts on this website.

        Go through article by article and you’ll see the people’s truths show.

        It will take you a few days, and if you’re a reasonable human being you will start pulling your hair out, but it will prove the point.

        • Doug,
          Your basis for your feelings does not make it right to assume things about people’s character and then insult them based on your assumptions. Civil discourse cannot abide such behavior. It’s one of the primary reasons for the upheavals in our country today.

          No matter how many things someone says that are the kinds of things people with certain character traits might say, they cannot be assumed to have traits not in evidence. The thing to do is talk about the statements, not the people.

          You might want to think about many of the arguments and tactics of people fighting sexism and racism or even abortion have been used for half a century without solving the problem. At the same time, new and old solutions rarely get a chance because they are constantly shouted down as you’ve done here.

          If you want to convince anyone of anything, you have to start by accepting their sincerity or you might as well quit. As soon as you attack, the other side will also attack, and it’s going nowhere.

          • Doug is so busy reading between the lines, that he never sees what’s actually ON the lines. Must be telepathic. Cool.

  13. One of my best friends at Purdue was a woman, and she was a better pilot than I will ever be. She was also a great CFI and excelled when we teamed up for the 707 sim sessions. She, like the other three women in the program, advanced herself via her ability and talent. Unfortunately, we cheapen hard-working and intelligent women when we venerate ad nauseum women such as our first female VP, who broke the glass ceiling on Mayor Willie’s casting couch.

  14. Had Sarah Palin been the first female VP, you would be the first one making nasty, expletive-ridden comments which would make the comments made here look tame. Don’t forget how open-minded and enlightened you are in the event Candace Owens runs for office.

    • No one cares about your political views.

      If Sarah Palin had become VP she too would have been an inspiration for women all over and should be applauded for the accomplishment, made even more difficult for her because of the ingrained anti woman culture, proliferated by people responding to posts like this saying things like.

      “Women who want to be in the military know they have to be better than the average man to succeed”

      Or immediately crying about affirmative action on a post that quite literally is trying to get a week recognized for women in the industry to promote new women to want to become involved in aerospace.

      If you can’t grasp the concept that workplace / industry culture plays a huge told on that influence of people that is also part of the issue that needs to be addressed.

      Just stick your politics in the can, no one cares who you vote for.

      • Yet you think you are so important that we are all privileged to be lectured by you. Lead by example. Do you have a cushy flying job? Give up your seat to a female aviator, since you are so principled. Do you own an airplane? Sign the registration over to an aspiring female aviator, so she can build hours. We would all be impressed with your piety.

  15. “Women who want to be in the military know they have to be better than the average man to succeed”

    Two women in Air Crew Candidate school, could not pass the Obstacle course. One evening session with the leading First Class Petty Officer and they received passing grades. Suspicious.

    • Wow. That comment is just…all kinds of inappropriate. A great illustration of what a couple of us are trying to say.

      With baseless accusations, rumors, and implications like this, I can’t imagine any woman would want to be part of such an organization.

  16. Yo, Doug and Company .. WOMPA has a conundrum and we need your sage advice. Since you’ve called darn near every one of us ancients here a dumb Neanderthal, can’t wait for all of us to head West so you can take over the aviation world and seem to have the answers to everything … we thought maybe you could offer us some of your woke wisdom, please.

    At last nite’s WOMPA meeting, one of our senior members — Brutus the ATP / CFI — informed us that he was going over to the “dark side.” We’re not sure what that means because there are so many directions he could go now. We looked in his pants and all seemed the same, nevertheless, he has changed his name to Tabitha. Since “he” — or whatever he is now — no longer meets the litmus test for membership in our Good ‘ol Boys WOMPA pilot sub-group, we threw him out. That part was easy. But now — given the original subject of this blog — we’re wondering if WOMPA gets credit for adding a female to that side of the count? If so, we want to write the two Senators sponsoring the “gender balance” legislation to recommend consideration of converting males to females to even the count in their “bipartisan legislation.” And, we want to make the same recommendation to the FAA so their count stays relevant. Why … all we’d have to do is change their names and … blam … we’re evening the gender balance count and it might actually be achievable in the short term by the mere action of “conversion.” We’re not sure if IACRA allows for that but … that’s a whole different issue.

    We’re all certain you’ll have a opinion here … thanks in advance for your help and looking forward to hearing if your head explodes, too?

  17. And what if a woman does not want to fly or be an AP/IA? How do you achieve parity when obtaining it will mean you have discriminated against someone.

    This Gender, race skin color, sexual identity, gender choices and countless other pet peeves has reached the point of utter absurdity.