There is a growing band of women in the commercial airline industry who are taking over high-profile positions running big hubs, heading airport ground operations, leading aircaft maintenance and managing airline operation control dispatch centers.
The shift is largely due to the airlines’ lessening dependence on the military for recruits and a wave of retirements by men. American Airlines senior vice president of human resources commented that there was a time when nearly all commercial pilots and mechanics came out of the military, and there weren’t many women in the military. The male dominance was by circumstance, not intention.
Airlines are now making faster progress hiring women in all areas, including as pilots and airline dispatchers. (Call Phoenix East if you’re interesting in training for a job as a pilot or a dispatcher).
In addition to pilots and flight dispatchers, many U.S. airlines have women is very senior management positions. Terri Pope runs the Charlotte, N.C. hub for US Airways. Horizon Air has a female vice president of maintenance and engineering. Southwest Airlines has a female vice president of ground operations. Southwest Airlines also has a female chief financial officer. Southwest also wins the prize for the highest ranking female in the U.S. commercial aviation industry — Colleen Barrett, president of the company.
At United Airlines 45% of the 55,000 employees are women; United also now has eight female vice presidents. One of those women oversees United’s system operations center — the airline’s nerve center for flight planning and tracking. If you are a young woman with a passion for aviation, and you are interested in either being a pilot or working as a dispatcher in an airline’s operations control center, talk to an Admissions Officer at Phoenix East Aviation about career opportunities.