Labor shortages boost career opportunities for women
Anational shortage of males qualified for good jobs is boosting opportunities for women in aviation and construction, according to recent reports.
As I have previously noted, good jobs and careers are going begging in aviation and many other career fields due to the lack of qualified candidates, including right here in the Aerospace Valley.
Two recent reports suggest that what happened during World War II when women filled jobs vacated by men who went off to war may be happening now for different reasons.
Training for many aviation careers is available in the U.S. Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
Unlike during the war years, there are openings for women as pilots in addition to maintainers and other positions and women have more than proven themselves in combat.
The military personnel shortage also affects the nation’s airlines, which draw many of their employees from men and women who gained their training in the armed services and transfer them to the airline industry.
All this adds up to opportunities for women.
A recent study, “Women in Aviation: A Workforce Report,” says women “account for less than 10% of pilots, airline executives and maintenance technicians, and this might be due to factors such as an inflexible work-life balance, high training costs and lack of early exposure to the field.”
Here in the Aerospace Valley, young women are exposed to the industry when they hear their first sonic boom, and efforts are underway to expand local educational opportunties, according to local educators.
Three members of Congress have recognized the need to recruit people into aviation and all other transportation career fields
Representatives Rick Larsen (D-Washington), Don Young (R-Alaska) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesita) jointly authored H.R.5118, known as the Promoting Service in Transportation Act, to boost awareness for thousands of aviation jobs that will need to be filled, according to an article in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association newsletter.
“The aviation industry will need more than 800,000 pilots, 769,000 technicians and nearly 20,000 air traffic controllers to meet demand over the next 10 years,” Congressman Larsen wrote, according to AOPA.
A Boeing study reports that the airline will need 914,000 cabin crew members in addition to the 1.57 million pilots and maintenance specialists over the next 20 years, AOPA noted.
That number is expected to rise with retirements.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics research that median annual wages for airline pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers was $140,340 in May 2018, and commercial pilots earned an average of $82,240, according to the AOPA report.
The lawmakers say that aviation career opportunities should be promoted widely to “all Americans.”
The bill directs the U.S. Department of Transporation to use all forms of media to get the word out on careers in aviation and other forms of transportation.
AOPA previously reported that female pilots make up about 7% of all certificated pilots and the Philadelphia Tribune noted that African-Americans account for less than 3% of commercial U.S. pilots.
The campaign will highlight aviation and land-based transportation career opportunities with additional emphasis on increasing diversity.
Plane Crazy Saturday
Activities like the monthly Plane Crazy Saturday events at the Mojave Air & Spaceport are aimed at providing exposure to opportunities in aerospace.
The Dec. 21 edition of Plane Crazy will feature an address by local pilot Dick Rutan who will unveil his new book, “The Next Five Minutes, Embracing the Impossible” which includes the story of the history-making nonstop, un-refueled flight that he and co-pilot Jeana Yeager made around the world in December 1986, in an aircraft designed by Dick’s brother Burt and constructed by the Dick and volunteers at the Mojave Air & Spaceport.
Plane Crazy Saturdays are free family events open to everyone, and offer young people an opportunity to learn first hand about the industry from local men and women who dedicate their lives to expanding our knowledge of flight and exploring space.
A recent piece in the Los Angeles Times reported that women are also gaining ground in the construction industry, filling shortages similar to those in aerospace.
The story profiled several women who are helping build buildings, bridges and other structures.
The grandmother of one of the women profiled in the Times was a “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II.
Now her granddaughter is the first woman to head a local construction union in a major metropolitan city.
After 30 years in the industry she mentors women “who have followed in her footsteps,” according to the Times article.
She encourages her proteges to “own your skills” and “outshine everybody.”
Like other women pioneering in what has been a man’s field, one of the women cautions women entering construction to be able to handle the often juvenile attitudes of some of her fellow workers.
But the Times article notes that success is lucrative in a field in which women earn the same as their male counterparts.
Cliff Clavin strikes again
Our mail person, a clone of the legendary Cliff Clavin of “Cheers” fame, outdid himself last week.
Up until now he has placed our mail in a neighbor’s box with a similar address number (114 vs. 144)
Last week four pieces of mail addressed to my neighbor’s home appeared in our box.
Including a piece from the Postal “Service” advertising their plans for handling Christmas mail.
By the way, if these Clavin comments bother the postal folks, there’s a really easy way to stop them.