Gender Dynamics and its Effects on Employment of Women Pilots in Kenya Airlines
Davidson, Chavera Miliza
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Although there is a rise in the studies on employment of women pilots globally, there is minimal evidence that attempt to interrogate the effects of gender dynamics related on the same. Women airlines pilots are underrepresented in aviation industry accounting for about 4%. Women have a bigger role they play economically, socially and politically when they are empowered, and this can be done through employment as airlines pilots. Previous researches have indicated women in aviation face discrimination, biasness and prejudice and those in aviation have remained to be resilient, because of role models support and struggle with the masculine dominated industry. International organizations, civil societies, non-governmental organizations, women themselves through various groups and countries have adapted to gender equality promotion through policies, practices, advocacy and awareness while the impact is at a slower rate. Constitution of Kenya 2010 outlines the need for gender equality and human right as a priority by providing for no more than two - thirds representations of any gender; - in a multi crew, aircraft there should be representation of both genders on the flight deck. Besides all this commitments, women airlines pilots are a minority; this brought the need to study and determine some of the causes and effects to why fewer women are employed as pilots at Kenya Airways. The research aims to determine gender dynamics and its effects on employment of women pilots in Kenya and objectives are; to examine the effects of cultural belief, to establish effects of career choice, to explore the effects of job allocation and to determine the effects of skill acquisition on employment of women pilots in Kenyan airlines. Advocacy Coalition Framework, Gender Schema and Self-regulation shift theories were adopted by the researcher. A target population of 402 pilots, the study used descriptive research design, semi structured questionnaire surveys, which were administered online by use of google forms, stratified random sampling, simple random and non-probability quota sampling techniques were adopted in a sample size of 22 pilots. Quantitative, qualitative research techniques were used; data was presented and analyzed by the use of mean use of percentage, bar charts and graphs. Research was carried out after authorization, license number approved and issued, respondents were on voluntary basis, information sourced was confidential and only used as part of the study to determine reasons why women pilots are fewer in Kenyan airlines. The study found cultural beliefs, lack of information and mentors, variable shift patterns and skills acquisition influences employment of women pilots in Kenyan airlines. The study recommends to create awareness to break the bias, have mentors, rosters be published based on laid down procedures and skills and confidence is acquired on individual level.