The flight of aspirations  

Female employees have soared in the last decade in the aviation industry, discovers Palak Bhatia

The aviation sector is now opening up tremendously for women in varied roles and job responsibilities. Women have been stepping out of conventional roles like flight attendants to take up other jobs in the aviation field. As the sector is peopleoriented, it holds a special charm for women professionals. 

Shrutidhar Paliwal,VP & head - corporate communications and media relations, Aptech Ltd tells us how the number of women in the aviation industry has increased in the last decade or so, “When one visits the airport today, we see an almost equal number of women and men handling passengers at the check-in area.This is also true for the security check area where you have men and women alike doing the final checks and guiding passengers in to the pickup and drop vehicles.

The cockpit too has seen a change of hands where almost every second aircraft has a woman pilot or co-pilot commanding the aircraft. The number of women in this industry is only growing, considering it is a people-intensive industry where interpersonal skills and patience are the need of the hour.” 

Is aviation still viewed as a maleoriented field? Vinit Phatak, managing director, Invision Air answers,“On one hand, one could argue that it is still a very male-oriented field.

As a consequence of the erratic hours and the nature of the work, it is tougher to keep up with family commitments that are still largely seen as being the primary responsibility of women. In addition, some of the work, particularly in the maintenance field, such as tyre changes, engine changes, etc can be quite physically demanding, thus making it easier for men to dominate those roles.

Lastly, working in shifts that at times might run through the night, is difficult for women not only because of their perceived responsibility as a homemaker, but also as a consequence of the increasing levels of crimes against women and the poor night-time public transport systems in many Indian cities.” 

Sunil Goel, MD, GlobalHunt tells us why the future of women looks bright in the aviation industry,“Though women have been under-represented in the aviation and aerospace sectors, the scenario is changing now and the playing field has been nearly levelled. There have been observations that women are better performers in hospitality and outshine their male counterparts in the same

In the future, a lot of technical jobs will be created, which can be taken up by women. Structural changes will also open doors for women in other job segments like pilots, flight instructors, etc.”

Thus, there is a lot to look forward to for women in this industry as there are many more career opportunities to come