1st Edition

Women of Color in the Aviation Industry

By Shannon McLoughlin Morrison Copyright 2024

    Women of Color in the Aviation Industry offers a critical look at the reasons why the aviation industry remains underrepresented with minoritized groups, particularly women of color. Despite the increased efforts to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry, the diversity of its employees remains stagnant. Through interviews and conversations with a number of women of color, this book argues that the industry is not doing enough to create and sustain a more equitable workforce.

    In this book, readers will discover why less than 4% of qualified, commercial airline pilots are women, and of that, less than 1% are Black women. The numbers of Latinx, Indigenous people, Asian, and other people of color working in the aviation industry are lacking. This book explores how the aviation industry often fails to incorporate the experiences of women of color when developing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and offers different perspectives on why it remains challenging to recruit and retain minoritized people to the industry. By bringing in the experiences of a variety of women, this book asks readers to reflect on what it means for an organization to describe itself as one that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion.

    This timely, important book is a valuable resource for a wide spectrum of researchers and students in aviation as well as gender, race, and ethnic studies. Whilst the examples in this book serve as a case study for aviation, it can be used to examine other fields encountering similar challenges in creating a more equitable workforce.

    Foreword by John Horack

    1. A (Brief) History of Aviation in the United States

    2. Diversity That Maintains “Whiteness”

    3. Controlling Images and Representation: “You don’t look like a pilot”

    4. Coalition Building and Mentorship: Creating a Crew

    5. Conclusion


    Shannon McLoughlin Morrison is the Assistant Director of Academics and Assessment in the Center for Aviation Studies at The Ohio State University. Dr. Morrison is an experienced researcher, looking to understand the complexities of creating a more equitable and socially just workforce in the aviation industry. In their spare time Dr. Morrison is an avid runner. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, a pilot, Nick, her two cats, and a pet rabbit.