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Working conditions as barriers to women entering a men's world: the case of female aviation pilots Claudia Narocki, ISTAS-CCOO Workshop 6: Standardization,

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Presentation on theme: "Working conditions as barriers to women entering a men's world: the case of female aviation pilots Claudia Narocki, ISTAS-CCOO Workshop 6: Standardization,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Working conditions as barriers to women entering a men's world: the case of female aviation pilots Claudia Narocki, ISTAS-CCOO Workshop 6: Standardization, design and use of protective clothing, personal protective equipment, tools and machinery for women’s work

2 2 Women in a men's world? Women in a male-dominated workplace … Numeric imbalance ( less than 15 percent, Kanter 1977) Occupation stereotypically or “materially” defined as masculine (i.e., gender-inappropriate for women) Workplace or work equipment design unsuited for women If prestigious, with a high status and compensations, women are seen as intrusive In a context of organizational and societal sexism, women are considered by their own social network as “deviant” from gender norms, by their commitment to an occupation appropriate for men

3 3 “A men's world”? Barriers to entry “Social”barriers Prohibitions, restrictions, based on social values and stereotypes that justify traditional divisions of work Informal recruitment (devaluation of educational credentials that women have) Separated vocational tracks: some skills are associated with males, and are highly valuated and others are considered females’, “natural” skills, and less valuated. Material barriers: -tools, machines and workplaces designed according to male anthropometric standards, requiring “effort” to use them -Lack of: separated amenities, female adapted protective equipment, etc.

4 4 Female pilots in the commercial aviation in Spain First women pilot in The second only in 1985 Most male pilots came from the air force (then, closed to women). A public academy was opened in accepted the first woman, by exams, in 1978 At the time women entered to the aviation, the industry was undergoing great transformations

5 5 Transformations in the construction of planes Cockpit and simulators ergonomic redesign: - until the 1990's, 70% of women could not reach the pedals Effects of introduction of electronics, computers and satellite communications - The old visual cockpit was redesigned: the skills requirements of the occupation changed (new value given to communication skills, study of protocols, reduction of value of physical effort…)

6 6 Transformations in the definition of the skills needed for the occupation Decline of the former gendered definition of jobs. (Pilots = a men‘s occupation, cabin crew = women´s). Development of a new, safety oriented, work culture, requiring team work. The commander was formerly on the top of the hierarchy, and he was so remote that affected the security

7 7 Barriers encountered after entry into “male” organisations -Interactions with the majority influenced by stereotypes (about women’s skills, women’s personal traits, etc.) -but the organization didn’t tolerate hostility or rejection behaviours -no discriminatory behaviour: no wage inequities, or blocked mobility / channelling of women into less prestigious subspecialties or female-dominated "ghettos" within the occupation. -No H & S risks “enhancement” / no macho behaviour (display of physical effort; dirtiness / dustiness) required -But: few cases of sexual harassment - company managed workday and/ or workweek organisational arrangements friendly with care roles, motherhood Pilots in Iberia and other large, unionized companies, experience few barriers. But those in the precarious companies, all

8 8 New business models = a changed workplace worse for women Baum (2012) … the new business models that have emerged in the airline industry, led by low-cost carriers but now fairly ubiquitous across the sector, have radically altered the work and employee relations environment.

9 9 Thank you Project “Mujeres en Mundos de Hombres: Barreras a la entrada y estrategias de superación” (REF. MICINN-12-FEM ), received support by Plan Nacional de I+D+i del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Jan Dec. 2014


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