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Female pilot vs male pilot


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#1 kim Baldwin

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 01:05

I am a female pilot working on my CFI. When talking to other pilots about finding jobs down the road, most of them always throw in "well, you being a chick.." They seem to think that me being a light weight female will help me land a job faster then a male pilot. I nee more input then just from the guys at school.

#2 notam

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 23:52

I am a female pilot working on my CFI. When talking to other pilots about finding jobs down the road, most of them always throw in "well, you being a chick.." They seem to think that me being a light weight female will help me land a job faster then a male pilot. I nee more input then just from the guys at school.



#3 notam

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 23:53

Hi KIm check your PM's

#4 Helibear

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 00:08

I am a female pilot working on my CFI. When talking to other pilots about finding jobs down the road, most of them always throw in "well, you being a chick.." They seem to think that me being a light weight female will help me land a job faster then a male pilot. I nee more input then just from the guys at school.


Being light weight is certainly a plus for a CFI job, especially in a R22. Later it does not make a huge difference.
As far as the flight school I'm working for is concerned, gender is not a consideration in the hiring process.

#5 RTC

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 00:28

Yes being light weight will help when instructing in an R-22. Many of the R-22 CFI job announcements you see will even list a maximum weight. After that it will no longer be as critical.

#6 arotrhd

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:05

Kim-

Welcome to the VR club. Get in touch with the original ChopperChick. Make planes to attend the PHPA event at KBUR on the 26th...you can meet and get advice from her in person.

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#7 Joe85sti

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:59

Kim,

I always use to think the same thing since it appears to be that way with most industries that are for the most part, male dominant.

That was until I went to HeliSuccess last November and while getting my resume worked on by Chris, had the opportunity to talk to two female CFI's who had been sending out resumes for a couple years and had on more than one occasion received responses saying that they(company they applied for) shied away from females because they were not strong enough.

I hope that the fact that two separate females had the same experience is just a strange coincidence and not a regular practice by flight schools. As far as the school that I am at, there is no discrimination either way to gender.

Good luck with the job hunt and remember, NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK!!

Fly safe and smart
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#8 Darren Hughes

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:24

From what I've seen on the East coast, being female has it's benefits and drawbacks in the industry. I know some companies whose "higher ups" refuse to even entertain the idea of hiring female pilots anymore having had some bad experiences with them. "That's illegal" I hear you say, well yes, but only if you get caught, and in this day and age, companies are smart enough to avoid hiring certain demographics without coming straight out and saying it.

It seems to be an advantage though when trying to get hired in a corporate flight department to fly a S76 or something like that. I've seen quite a few women leap frog their male counterparts into positions like those even though they were a whole lot less experienced than the other people who were lined up for the same job.

Larger companies are more concerned with the whole diversity thing than smaller companies. Smaller companies can get away with having 2 or 3 men filling their 2 or 3 pilot positions. But if you have 50 pilots on staff, and all of them are men, people start to ask questions.

Take the NYPD for example. In the past the NYPD were crying out for women to fill pilot positions in the interests of diversity, as they only currently have 1 female in the aviation unit right now, who incidentally is out on leave after being injured when her 412 decided to go swimming last year, through no fault of hers from what I hear. The running joke in the PD was that if you were a Black/Asian Female who met the basic requirements, you were a shoe-in to the aviation unit. Tangentially however, in the last 6 months or so the aviation unit got a new Knucklehead CO who refuses to hire anyone who hasn't been shot at in some form or another in the past, or who isn't some sort of gung-ho lunatic. Hence, out of the last 4 new pilot positions he just filled, he hired 2 Private rated fixed wing guys who he's going to train up internally to fly their 119's. They got hired over at least one 1100 hour helicopter CFII who also happens to be fixed wing rated also. I'm sure there were plenty of other more experienced helo guys & gals waiting patiently in line also. I guess diversity is out the window for a while until he gets promoted and has to move on to another command.

Another reason I think females will find it easier to get hired by larger companies, than by smaller ones, is that in my experience, smaller operations tend to put more pressure on their pilots to fly in adverse conditions. Not all small operators are like that, and when you find one that isn't, they're a dream to work for. I've found women tend to have a better head on their shoulders when it comes avoiding bending of the rules, they do things a little more "by the book". The reality is that this industry puts more pressure on pilots than is fair at times. And certain companies will hire who they think will do what they need them to do.

At the end of the day, most positions are filled in this industry by word of mouth. And the best way to stay in work, is to have a strong work ethic and be a reliable employee. It also helps if you're not a Douchebag, because everyone knows everyone and the more people that like you, the greater chance you'll have of finding work.

I admit that these are just my observations, but there are plenty out there who agree with me. They may not say it on an open forum with their real name attached though.
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#9 r22butters

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 13:28

...on more than one occasion received responses saying that they(company they applied for) shied away from females because they were not strong enough...


One of my instructors, who was very petite (only 105lbs), mentioned that she had to "hit the weights", in order to get endorsed to teach in the R44 (due to the hydraulics off training).

Other than that, she seemed to feel that being a female actually gave her an advantage in teaching. I certainly liked flying with her.
:)

#10 Pohi

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 15:22

My wife is tiny, she had no problem instructing or getting another job after that.

The only problems she had due to her gender was a general lack of respect from certain cultures that do not see women as equals, and a few other random douchebags. Besides that, she really had no problems that anybody else wouldn't have.

Of course she is pretty damn awsome, that can't hurt.

Edited by Pohi, 16 March 2011 - 15:29.

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#11 Goldy

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 00:33

I am a female pilot working on my CFI. When talking to other pilots about finding jobs down the road, most of them always throw in "well, you being a chick.." They seem to think that me being a light weight female will help me land a job faster then a male pilot. I nee more input then just from the guys at school.


Hey Kim, I think we may have met at VNY a few months ago...are you flying with Mike? Anyway, be sure to come over to the PHPA event at Burbank, and yes, meet Desiree and a few other very successful women helo pilots. Active student pilots get in free with their current student certificate.

As far as advantages I would have to vote yes. Women are usually more patient than guys (good trait for a CFI), and typically most women weigh less than most men(had to be careful there).
Fly Safe !!

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#12 TXFirefly

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:10

I agree with the points made by both Darren and Goldy. Coming from another male dominant profession (fire dept.), I would add that women in that situation seem to try harder to be better than their male counterparts so that no one can say that they got the job just because they were a girl or worse that you are too weak to do the job. Don't worry about what the "guys" at your school say, but the sound advise from the veteran posters here. Good luck!
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#13 rodrop

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 19:00

A good employer will hire the person they feel best fits their companies needs and the needs of their students. If they choose to discriminate against anyone based on who they are or are not...you dont want to work for them anyway.

If weight is a concern and you have two candidates (guy or girl) competing, then the lighter weight should be considered a hiring factor. If most of your students are 200+ why not have an instructor who is 135? And who is to say that the lighter weight person will always be female?
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#14 kim Baldwin

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 22:22

I agree with the points made by both Darren and Goldy. Coming from another male dominant profession (fire dept.), I would add that women in that situation seem to try harder to be better than their male counterparts so that no one can say that they got the job just because they were a girl or worse that you are too weak to do the job. Don't worry about what the "guys" at your school say, but the sound advise from the veteran posters here. Good luck!

They guys are my school (and work; I am a flight attendant for frontier airline) are telling me it should be easier. I know minority has its perks but I am concerned that me entering a boys club will make me have higher expectations. I come from a long line of firefighting in my family. One of the reason I started to fly was dreaming of working for a department. What would your best advise be on getting on with a department as a civilian?

#15 Darren Hughes

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 15:56

They guys are my school (and work; I am a flight attendant for frontier airline) are telling me it should be easier. I know minority has its perks but I am concerned that me entering a boys club will make me have higher expectations. I come from a long line of firefighting in my family. One of the reason I started to fly was dreaming of working for a department. What would your best advise be on getting on with a department as a civilian?


Are you talking about Police department, Fire department, or any "Public Use" department? I know with some PDs, it's sometimes more about who you know than anything else. I've heard that to get into the LA County Fire aviation unit you have to have been a ground firefighter for at least 2 years prior. Border Patrol will take you once you have just their flight minimums.
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#16 Hovergirl

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 18:08

My impression is that everyone has a bias but it's unpredictable. If your potential employer has had success in the past with women/ex-military/guys with tattoos/Europeans etc etc. He/she may have a bias because of that. If there have been problems in the past, that will probably influence them too. So sometimes you will have an advantage, sometimes a disadvantage -- the only sure thing is that you will stand out. If you take some time to network and get to know as many people as possible, the sensible ones will start to see you not as 'a woman' but as who you are as an individual. Don't sweat it, just do your best. I've run into a lot of experienced pilots who tell me "I once had a great female flight instructor..." Hopefully we all chip away at biases bit by bit.

Good Luck and Welcome!
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#17 apiaguy

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 18:29

well... if it will help chip away the biases.... I've always wanted to have a great female flight instructor!

#18 Darren Hughes

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 20:03

.... I've always wanted to have a great female flight instructor!


I had one, I ended up marrying her!!
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#19 kim Baldwin

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 20:50

My impression is that everyone has a bias but it's unpredictable. If your potential employer has had success in the past with women/ex-military/guys with tattoos/Europeans etc etc. He/she may have a bias because of that. If there have been problems in the past, that will probably influence them too. So sometimes you will have an advantage, sometimes a disadvantage -- the only sure thing is that you will stand out. If you take some time to network and get to know as many people as possible, the sensible ones will start to see you not as 'a woman' but as who you are as an individual. Don't sweat it, just do your best. I've run into a lot of experienced pilots who tell me "I once had a great female flight instructor..." Hopefully we all chip away at biases bit by bit.

Good Luck and Welcome!

Thanks!

#20 kim Baldwin

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 21:14

Are you talking about Police department, Fire department, or any "Public Use" department? I know with some PDs, it's sometimes more about who you know than anything else. I've heard that to get into the LA County Fire aviation unit you have to have been a ground firefighter for at least 2 years prior. Border Patrol will take you once you have just their flight minimums.






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