Gender bias in the Australian aviation industry: Emergent themes, possible solutions.

a view of the cockpit of a plane at night.

Lamb, T. L. and Winter, S. R. (2021, August).

Presentation at the 24th Air Transport Research Society’s World Conference, Sydney, Australia.

It has been over 100 years since women first took to the sky as pilots. In Australia, like many other countries, legislation has evolved to support gender equality to minimize bias and discrimination in professions dominated by males. Despite policy evolution, deeply engrained cultural influences of rugged masculinity, traditional beliefs, and in many cases, purposeful misogyny continue to thwart the best efforts of those policies and the organizations that try to uphold them. This study used qualitative methods with an ethnographic perspective to conduct a thematic analysis of a sample of 10 published research papers. The papers focused either directly or indirectly on gender bias in the Australian aviation industry. The findings revealed a total of 28 emergent themes, six of which contributed to 72 percent of the results. This paper refers to these as the “significant six,” and they include; Negative Attitudes Towards Female, Negative Behavior Towards Female, Purposeful Misogyny, General Perception, Traditional Beliefs, and Belief Males are Better. This study concludes with a proposed outline of a roadmap of strategies and accountabilities for a massive collaboration of experts and leaders to make affirmative and widespread interventions and initiatives to combat the significant six themes of gender bias in aviation.

Keywords. Purposeful Misogyny, Traditional Beliefs, Gender Bias, Female Pilots, Australian Aviation, Negative Attitudes.