Title

Adversity: Its Affect on the Resilience of Female Pilots

Presenter Email

pittengl@erau.edu

Location

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

Start Date

3-2-2020 1:45 PM

End Date

3-2-2020 2:45 PM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

Supporting the next generation of aviation professionals; Pilot Supply/ Flight Instructor Supply; Professionalism/Leadership

Keywords

female pilots, resilience, adversity

Abstract

Women are one of the solutions to alleviating the pending pilot shortage. Becoming a pilot needs to appeal to women. Resilience plays an important role in determining whether women in male-dominated career fields will pursue or abandon their careers. The pilot profession is dominated by masculine beliefs, values and perceptions creating an organizational culture adverse and challenging to women.

The study objective was to explore the influence of adversity on female pilots and its effect on resiliency. In our sample of 1,499 female pilots, we found lower resiliency levels as compared to a general U.S. sample. Additionally, statistically significant differences in resilience were revealed based on age, years of experience, and type of pilot, signifying characteristics can influence resilience. The findings indicate a potential influence of the adversity and challenges faced by women in aviation on resilience, inhibiting women’s success in aviation.

Efforts to increase female pilots in this male-dominated career will not improve conditions for women’s careers. The lower resilience among female pilots supports the need for further work in shifting organizational cultures and working conditions to increase and retain them. This further informs the need for the aviation industry to address many latent issues that provide disincentives to women becoming and remaining pilots. The scarcity of female pilots entering and remaining in the profession deprives the industry of the pilots it desperately needs and talent that brings equally valued and diverse skills to the ranks of the professional pilot.

Comments

Presented during Session 4 - Diversity in Aviation

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Mar 2nd, 1:45 PM Mar 2nd, 2:45 PM

Adversity: Its Affect on the Resilience of Female Pilots

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

Women are one of the solutions to alleviating the pending pilot shortage. Becoming a pilot needs to appeal to women. Resilience plays an important role in determining whether women in male-dominated career fields will pursue or abandon their careers. The pilot profession is dominated by masculine beliefs, values and perceptions creating an organizational culture adverse and challenging to women.

The study objective was to explore the influence of adversity on female pilots and its effect on resiliency. In our sample of 1,499 female pilots, we found lower resiliency levels as compared to a general U.S. sample. Additionally, statistically significant differences in resilience were revealed based on age, years of experience, and type of pilot, signifying characteristics can influence resilience. The findings indicate a potential influence of the adversity and challenges faced by women in aviation on resilience, inhibiting women’s success in aviation.

Efforts to increase female pilots in this male-dominated career will not improve conditions for women’s careers. The lower resilience among female pilots supports the need for further work in shifting organizational cultures and working conditions to increase and retain them. This further informs the need for the aviation industry to address many latent issues that provide disincentives to women becoming and remaining pilots. The scarcity of female pilots entering and remaining in the profession deprives the industry of the pilots it desperately needs and talent that brings equally valued and diverse skills to the ranks of the professional pilot.