Title

An Examination of Recent Female Graduates from a Collegiate Aviation Program and their Decisions to Become Professional Pilots

Presenter Email

deb.henneberry@vaughn.edu

Location

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B - F

Start Date

3-2-2020 11:15 AM

End Date

3-2-2020 12:30 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

Pilot Supply/ Flight Instructor Supply

Keywords

Female pilots, career choice, pilot supply

Abstract

Despite evidence of males and females having generally comparable abilities as pilots, very few women choose this career path. According to the Federal Aviation Administration database of aviators, approximately 7% of the total pilot population in the United States is female, and 5% of professional pilot ratings are held by women. These statistics have been relatively consistent for several decades.

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of why females decide to become professional pilots. This is a continuation of the study investigated in Henneberry (2018). Findings and recommendations in that research included increasing the number of role models, outreach events, and educating girls about career possibilities in aviation.

This study will feature semi-structured interviews with between five and ten women who, at the time of this study, are employed or have been previously employed as professional pilots. Participants are recent graduates from a collegiate aviation degree program.

Interviews with the participants will inquire how they became interested in an aviation career and what factors played the most significant role in their decision-making process. These findings will be explored to examine methods used to attract future women pilots. The information obtained from this study may contribute to a further understanding of what factors are the most influential in the choice to enter aviation and how to increase the number of female pilots.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Deb Henneberry is a professional pilot and flight instructor. She currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Aviation Department at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in New York City. Prior to her current role, Deb worked as a personal pilot to private aircraft owners. She also served as a government administrator for several years. Deb has worked as a first responder and emergency medical technician for over ten years.

Deb’s research interests focus on human factors. She has spoken about pilot training at a number of international aviation psychology conferences, including the First African Symposium on Human Factors and Aviation Safety. Her doctoral dissertation addressed the lack of female pilots and how to interest young girls in an aviation career. Deb currently serves as a Director of the Greater NY Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, Scholarship Chair of the NY/NJ Section of The Ninety-Nines, and co-host of The Ninety-Nines International webinar series.

View Debra Henneberry’s Bio Page

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Mar 2nd, 11:15 AM Mar 2nd, 12:30 PM

An Examination of Recent Female Graduates from a Collegiate Aviation Program and their Decisions to Become Professional Pilots

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B - F

Despite evidence of males and females having generally comparable abilities as pilots, very few women choose this career path. According to the Federal Aviation Administration database of aviators, approximately 7% of the total pilot population in the United States is female, and 5% of professional pilot ratings are held by women. These statistics have been relatively consistent for several decades.

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of why females decide to become professional pilots. This is a continuation of the study investigated in Henneberry (2018). Findings and recommendations in that research included increasing the number of role models, outreach events, and educating girls about career possibilities in aviation.

This study will feature semi-structured interviews with between five and ten women who, at the time of this study, are employed or have been previously employed as professional pilots. Participants are recent graduates from a collegiate aviation degree program.

Interviews with the participants will inquire how they became interested in an aviation career and what factors played the most significant role in their decision-making process. These findings will be explored to examine methods used to attract future women pilots. The information obtained from this study may contribute to a further understanding of what factors are the most influential in the choice to enter aviation and how to increase the number of female pilots.