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.
'Aviation is an intensely competitive, global industry providing transportation and employment across the world. Absent Aviators is a must read for anyone with an interest in the gendered history, structure and culture of this fascinating industry. It is predicted that over 400,000 new pilots will be needed within the next two decades to meet increasing demand. Against this background, the contributors to this timely book ask, why are women so under-represented in commercial airline piloting, and what can be done to address this problem?' Melissa Tyler, University of Essex, UK ’Aviation buffs, sociologists of work, and feminists alike will applaud the achievements of this ample volume, detailing the man’s world of piloting. The diverse background of authors - including from within aviation - gives the volume its great texture and authority. As the cockpit remains one of the most staunchly masculinist spaces in industrial employment, Absent Aviators tackles these highly gendered realms as both a human problem and management issue.’ Christine Yano, University of Hawaii, USA ’Absent Aviators presents a breathtaking exposure of the gendered dimensions of the historically male-dominated civil and military aviation industry. The diverse perspectives, conceptual and methodological approaches adopted by both academic and industry-based contributors provide unique insights into the barriers faced by female aviators in a variety of cases drawn from different national, historical and contemporary contexts.’ Lucy Taksa, Macquarie University, Australia