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4 Tips for Women Interested in Aviation Careers

Despite the fact that women have played important roles in the history of early aviation, careers in both commercial and military aviation have been traditionally male dominant. As with any industry in which a large majority of men participate, women will have to work extra hard to show their worth.




Despite the fact that women have played important roles in the history of early aviation, careers in both commercial and military aviation have been traditionally male dominant. As with any industry in which a large majority of men participate, women will have to work extra hard to show their worth. Even though any career in aviation, whether it is air traffic controlling or piloting, is particularly demanding, it is still possible to be successful in the field as a woman. All it takes is careful planning. Here are a few tips if you are considering a career in aviation.

1. Understand the challenges

Selecting a career is a major life decision. And as with any major life decision, doing your homework thoroughly is the best way to go about it. Before jumping into an aviation program, find out exactly what it is that you want to do. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and be honest to yourself about the work environment you desire. Know from the beginning that you will likely face gender discrimination throughout school and on the job. Be sure that you will be willing to work long hours and that you may not have time to enjoy a successful career while raising a family.

2. Tap into scholarship opportunities

Since women are very much underrepresented in the aviation industry, there are tons of scholarship opportunities out there so that you can jumpstart your career without having to worry so much about crushing student debt. Today, more than ever, there is a growing number of organizations which offer aviation-related scholarships.

3. Join prominent women’s aviation organizations for networking and support

If you have not yet begun applying to aviation programs, be sure to look for schools with a strong female faculty, many of whom will understand first-hand the challenges that women face. Joining different women’s aviation organizations is also a good way to meet other female professionals, find mentors, and garner the support needed to make it in this industry. Some of the more well-known organizations include Women in Aviation International, The Ninety-Nines, and International Women’s Aviation Association.

4. Prioritize your goals

Once you’ve researched the specific challenges that women face in the aviation industry, it’s important to prioritize your goals. Where do you see yourself in a decade? What do you need to do to achieve the ultimate position that you want in your career? What specific hurdles will you have to face in your specific field, whether gender-related or not? Make a list of your professional goals, and talk to several people in your field to discover what you need to do to get there.

About the Author:

Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez[at]gmail[dot]com.


4 Responses

01.11.12

I luv this Wayne! Thanks for posting!

01.11.12

HI Wayne. Another great organization to add is Women In Corporate Aviation (www.wca-intl.org/).

01.11.12

Ken, Thanks for the suggestion. Will certainly have to focus a bit more on women’s role in aviation.

01.11.12

As an airframe engineer I have to say that the number of women engineers has increased the last years but I believe that the technical career is still not attractive for most of the girls still attending universities.

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About Wayne Farley

Wayne Farley

I am Wayne, an aviation safety evangelist who once made my living working in the control tower. Engage me while I share my thoughts, experience, and news from the aviation world. After writing "13 Characteristics of an air traffic controller" in 2010, it went viral and established me as an unofficial ambassador for ATC.

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