Title

Certificated AMTs: What Will Encourage More Women to Become Aviation Maintenance Technicians?

Presenter Email

gail.y.rouscher@wmich.edu

Location

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B/C

Start Date

3-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

3-4-2020 10:30 AM

Submission Type

Presentation

Topic Area

Maintenance technician shortage

Keywords

STEM, women, mechanics, aviation maintenance

Abstract

This paper examines practices that are used in STEM fields to attract women in order to understand how those tactics may to entice women to join the ranks of certified AMTs. According to the FAA, the estimated active mechanic certificates held as of December 31, 2018 was 292,002. Of those 292,002 it is estimated that 7,133 or 2.4% were held by women. In 2009, there were 329,027 active mechanics certificates held and 6,980 or 2.1% were held by women. There was steady growth of certificated women mechanics from 2009 through 2015 – growing from 2.1% to 2.5% respectively. In 2016, there was a drop to 2.3%. For 2017 and 18 the number remains at 2.4%. With the increased need for AMTs it is imperative to determine best practices for engaging women in aviation maintenance and STEAM fields.

STEAM is only recently gaining traction as opposed to STEM, therefore there is not much data on aviation specifically with regard to women in the aviation maintenance fields. What is known is that in 2016, women earned more than 40% of bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics and more than 20% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Conversely, in 2016, the number of certificated women aviation mechanics was 2.3%. What is drawing women to the fields of mathematics, statistics, and engineering? Can those practices be successful in attracting women to the field of aviation maintenance? Examining the tactics used in STEM disciplines may lead to successful practice to increase the number of women AMTs.

Presenter Biography

Gail Rouscher’s career in aviation began in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Machinists Mate stationed in Rota, Spain where she supported the squadrons by maintaining the powerplants for the TF30, T34, and F404 engines. She was transferred to Naval Air Facility (NAF) Detroit and attached to AIMD where she supported the VP-93 squadron and performed maintenance on the T-56 engine, APU, and propeller for the P-3 Orion, and became test-cell qualified for the T-56 engine. She earned her A&P certificate, then worked for Duncan Aviation performing composite and sheet-metal repairs and modifications to corporate aircraft. During her time with the avionics department, she was heavily involved with the testing and modification of aircraft during the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM) initiative.

Gail Rouscher earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Higher Education at Western Michigan University, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University, Dr. Rouscher is a U. S. Naval Veteran and holds an A & P certificate. Dr. Rouscher has more than 25 years of aviation maintenance training and experience encompassing military, cargo, and corporate aircraft. Dr. Rouscher has been a member of the faculty for Western Michigan Universities College of Aviation since 2008 and is an adjunct professor for Kellogg Community College. Dr. Rouscher teaches in the Part 147 program with a focus on aviation structures and composites in addition to teaching courses for all majors in the college. Research has focused on marginalized students with a strong focus on military and veterans.

In her role at Western Michigan University, Dr. Rouscher serves as Advisor for the WMU chapters of Women in Aviation, Association of Women in Aviation Maintenance, SkillsUSA and Aerospace Maintenance Competition. Dr. Rouscher serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance and the Northrop Rice Foundation.

View Gail Rouscher’s Bio Page

Share

COinS
 
Mar 4th, 9:00 AM Mar 4th, 10:30 AM

Certificated AMTs: What Will Encourage More Women to Become Aviation Maintenance Technicians?

Mori Hosseini Student Union Events Center (Bldg #610) – Rooms 165 B/C

This paper examines practices that are used in STEM fields to attract women in order to understand how those tactics may to entice women to join the ranks of certified AMTs. According to the FAA, the estimated active mechanic certificates held as of December 31, 2018 was 292,002. Of those 292,002 it is estimated that 7,133 or 2.4% were held by women. In 2009, there were 329,027 active mechanics certificates held and 6,980 or 2.1% were held by women. There was steady growth of certificated women mechanics from 2009 through 2015 – growing from 2.1% to 2.5% respectively. In 2016, there was a drop to 2.3%. For 2017 and 18 the number remains at 2.4%. With the increased need for AMTs it is imperative to determine best practices for engaging women in aviation maintenance and STEAM fields.

STEAM is only recently gaining traction as opposed to STEM, therefore there is not much data on aviation specifically with regard to women in the aviation maintenance fields. What is known is that in 2016, women earned more than 40% of bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics and more than 20% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering. Conversely, in 2016, the number of certificated women aviation mechanics was 2.3%. What is drawing women to the fields of mathematics, statistics, and engineering? Can those practices be successful in attracting women to the field of aviation maintenance? Examining the tactics used in STEM disciplines may lead to successful practice to increase the number of women AMTs.