‘Why women shy away from ca­reer in avi­a­tion’

Daily Trust - - HOME FRONT -

Mrs. Ify Megwa is the pres­i­dent, Glow­ing Wings chap­ter of women in the avi­a­tion industry, a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion. In this in­ter­view, she speaks on how cul­tural bar­ri­ers had in the past stalled women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the avi­a­tion sec­tor and how women can com­bine avi­a­tion ca­reer with the home front. their hus­band’s meals, serve him, and oth­ers. As a woman in avi­a­tion, you prob­a­bly could be fly­ing or on board some­where in any flight and your flight could be at night and your hus­band is at home and you are not there. So cul­tur­ally, we had chal­lenges in the past.

Se­condly the struc­ture has lim­ited us, we are now strug­gling to make our marks and let the men know that we can do it too. We are try­ing but cul­tural lim­i­ta­tions had damp­ened our zeal in the past be­cause there were very few women in the pro­fes­sion. Men think be­cause you are a high­flier, avi­a­tion is fash­ion­able, trendy and any woman in avi­a­tion is fash­ion­able and trendy so the men be­gin to get jit­tery.

Most men would not al­low their wives work in avi­a­tion be­cause they don’t want other men to see her; she watch­ing and every­thing to­gether. I jug­gle and when I am at work, I try to make sure that work is work too.

My job has be­come a hobby for me, not just a job. Once you make your job a hobby, that is the first start and all the chal­lenges at the job be­come things that you can over­come be­cause you are happy with what you are do­ing. I have pas­sion for my job and that’s been a source of sup­port for me.

How does a woman in avi­a­tion cope with her hus­band that doesn’t seem to un­der­stand the na­ture of her ca­reer?

You don’t have to have a hus­band in avi­a­tion for him to ap­pre­ci­ate your job as a ca­reer woman in avi­a­tion. It’s about how you are able to ex­plain to him and make him un­der­stand. Even a woman who is at home and in the kitchen can still have chal­lenges with her hus­band. Again, you must com­mu­ni­cate in very clear terms with your spouse and he would un­der­stand you. Ba­si­cally you have to com­mu­ni­cate and cre­ate trust in him. If you make him trust you, even if they come and tell sto­ries about you, he would not bother. So you com­mu­ni­cate, you cre­ate trust, you cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that when you are at home, you are the woman and the wife you are sup­posed to be; don’t carry your work po­si­tion to your home, it would not work. He would ap­pre­ci­ate the ca­reer woman that you are and he would sup­port you.

What is your ad­vice to women who are afraid of go­ing into the avi­a­tion sec­tor?

They should come and try and see, avi­a­tion is fun. It is a place that you would love to be. Be­cause of the global na­ture of avi­a­tion, it is the only sec­tor that you have part­ners every­where in the world, it is the only sec­tor that ex­poses you to var­i­ous places in the world apart from where you come from; it is the only sec­tor that gives you a shorter trav­el­ling space, within a twin­kle of an eye, you cover so much miles and you can have break­fast in Nige­ria and have din­ner in an­other coun­try as far as Lon­don or Paris. So, it is an at­trac­tive place to work in and it is an­other place where you can achieve your dream be­cause we have a va­ri­ety of ca­reers in the same sec­tor. You can be any­thing in avi­a­tion; it of­fers a va­ri­ety of ca­reers, choices.

Mrs. Ify Megwa

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