Do you know the true definition of feminism? Honestly, we didn’t... Well, here it is: Feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. It’s not the idea women are better, women hate men, women are angry, etc - simply that we should be treated equally and who can’t agree with equality. 👀
Today is Women’s Equality Day and we want to talk about fairness in the travel industry!
Women have a strong place in the travel industry. They count for two-thirds of all travelers. Yet, according to AOPA, “Female pilots only make up about 7% of all certificated pilots. Professional pilot ranks are even less diverse, with women holding 4.3% of airline transport pilot certificates. The United States lags the world in female airline pilots as a percentage.” While women have made strides in the fight for equality and representation, the female pilot population has remained virtually unchanged.
Abingdon Mullin, a Pilot, explains the challenges females face as a pilot. First, she explains challenges within our society. She says, “They’ve created the story that either women don’t fly, can’t fly, don’t want to fly, do want kids and can’t fly, et cetera. The story is permutated by society for however many decades that airplanes have been around. It’s only until we get people outside the circle that people will change mindsets and think flying as a woman is an option.” AOPA reports, “Mullin has gone on to a successful career ferrying airplanes and as an airline pilot, along with running the Abingdon Watch Company. However, she has been told her success is because she slept her way to jobs and other opportunities.” This is a problem for women, in any industry, because despite their efforts there is this idea it was not theirs alone. Second, Mullin explains countless stories of harassment and discrimination during training, at the airport and/or during their career. Microaggressions, lack of support, and sexism are obstacles that women face. Both men and women, around the world, should be alert of these misbehaviours and do their part to correct it.
As social media influencers, males tend to have the minority of the voices. Yet, according to Marketing Land, even though 77% of influencers are women, “[women are] earning $108 less per post than male influencers.” While influencer’s pay is hard to negotiate, equality is not.
Ciara Kleva, a visual artist who has worked as an influencer, said “her issues with inequalities within the influencer community had less to do with the pay gap and more to do with how women are expected to perform as influencers. I absolutely see a flaw when the women who can rake in the most amount of money on social media need to be as close to nude as possible, and, at least, have a heavy dose of [sensuality] in every post.”
The age old fight of gender equality is still going on and affecting women even in places where they are the majority. To clarify any myths about what it means to be a feminist is the first step. Check out Villanova University’s List Of Myths About Feminism. Secondly, men, realizing this imbalance, should take a stand and be women’s allies in this fight for equality. Third is for women to use their voices and advocate to be paid what they deserve. Use your voice not only to inspire others but to empower yourself.
Tell us about your experience in the travel industry below!