Committing to changing the current picture of the aviation profession involves taking a step in the right direction and breaking through barriers. In 2021, there were 6.1% Hispanic/Latino and 1.5% Asian American, 3.9% African or Black, and 5.3% women flight engineers and aircraft pilots. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, inclusion, equity, and diversity are essential in every industry, and the aviation industry is no exception.
Diversity is about bringing together people with different backgrounds, including diverse individuals who support working programs that emphasize special associations and employees within the FAA, regardless of whatever differences they may have.
In this record, California has further broadened the roster of disadvantaged individuals, and numerous federal legislations are in effect to guarantee equal rights for all persons. These categories of individuals (and other similar ones) have encountered hardship and are frequently underrepresented in various sectors and domains.
Various groups within the aviation community are working hard to improve diversity. Women’s groups are exploring ways to overcome and address gender barriers in order to promote diversity in the future. Professional organizations are conducting surveys and providing micro-grants funding to schools, with the aim of providing STEM books to low-income and underserved students.
The goal of inclusion, as suggested by its name, is to allow all groups and individuals to participate without intolerance or discrimination. It goes further than that, ensuring that every group or individual has representation in brainstorming sessions, decision-making processes, and problem-solving. It is an excellent way to practice inclusion and ensure that others, regardless of their gender, race, or any other defining characteristic, feel included and welcomed. However, it is not enough to just remove barriers; the goal of inclusion is to help remove any barriers that may exist.
Sometimes, it takes a brave individual to create inclusion for others when it doesn’t exist. Courtland Savage, a Black pilot who started a program called Fly for the culture, may have made it easier for pilots like Prasad Kritti and Tyler Cazares to face the changing future of aviation.
Equality, everything is always equal, which ensures the best way possible for everyone. It appears that many things are guaranteed to be the same. Each group or individual receives the same thing, so everyone is given equal opportunities and resources. This implies equality. However, equity and equality are very different but are often used interchangeably.
Equity seeks to allocate the necessary opportunities and resources to each group or individual, recognizing that different groups or individuals have different circumstances. It does not aim to create equality by providing everyone with the same thing. However, it acknowledges that each group or individual does not start with the same opportunities and resources.
The Academy Flight Legacy is involved in conducting workshops and programs in Charleston, South Carolina to support and encourage Black aviators and pilots. They also involve groups like Equity, which aims to inspire girls in aviation by publishing new children’s books that highlight brave and strong women in the field.
A Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Future for Aviation
The promotion of inclusivity and diversity always has a positive impact on customer connections. A diverse group of employees and managers can create a more inclusive culture and provide different perspectives on various aspects of the business. It is essential for companies in the airline industry to understand and acknowledge the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their workforce development. Current statistics show that over 90% of professional pilots are white males, highlighting the need for greater inclusion and equity in this field. There are abundant opportunities for growth in the areas of diversity and equity.
In the field of aviation education, it is essential to establish a strong foundation for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This process does not only begin within the workplace but also involves implementing measures to promote fresh perspectives and innovative approaches for cultivating a diverse aviation workforce that promotes fairness and inclusiveness. Additionally, the organization provided grants to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives targeting students who are underrepresented. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also acknowledges the significance of DEI and shared its insights and suggestions during the Virtual Inclusive Language Summit held in November 2021.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom
Aviation institution, flight instruction facility, and each aeronautical institute must surpass being mere expressions of those ideas. In order to establish a varied, fair, and all-encompassing aviation labor force, professional aviators require the chance to train and enhance their abilities within a nurturing setting.
In order to promote inclusion and fairness in all aspects of aviation work, here are some tips. When we educate aviation professionals, it is important to practice what we preach by implementing inclusive educational processes and recruiting a diverse instructional team. This applies to both the classroom and the workforce.