The objective of this book is to present a number of related chapters on the subject of gender issues in the workplace of the aviation industry. More specifically, the chapters address the continuing shortfall in the number of women pilots in both civilian and military aviation. Considerable research has been carried out on gender issues in the workplace and, for example, women represent about 10% of employees in engineering. This example is often used to show that the consequences of gender discrimination are embedded and difficult to overcome in masculine-dominated occupations. However, women represent only 5-6% of the profession of pilot. Clearly there are many factors which mitigate women seeking to become pilots. The chapters within this volume raise both theoretical and practical issues, endeavouring to address the imbalance of women pilots in this occupation. Absent Aviators consolidates a diverse range of issues from a number of authors from Australia, Austria, the United States, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Each of the chapters is research-based and aims to present a broad picture of gender issues in aviation, gendered workplaces and sociology, underpinned by sound theoretical perspectives and methodologies. One chapter additionally raises issues on the historical exclusion of race from an airline. The book will prove to be a valuable contribution to the debates on women in masculine-oriented occupations and a practical guide for the aviation industry to help overcome the looming shortfall of pilots. It is also hoped it will directly encourage young women to identify and overcome the barriers to becoming a civilian or military pilot.
‘Absent Aviators is an interesting and thought-provoking book which highlights the fact that while the focus tends to be on the role of women in such organisations, often the most important aspects as those which go unseen.’
Stephanie O.P. Jones, Bangor University/WISERD