A background on female flight attendants
It’s popular to believe that gender equality has advanced much in the Western world. In recent history, women have successfully fought for several essential rights. There is still more work to be done in the aviation sector, nevertheless, in certain ways. Airlines continue to promote a gender bias for these professions even though many of the cabin crew members on our airplanes are women than men, That, however, wasn’t always the case.
Strangely, male flight attendants were the only kind of cabin crew hired when they initially started. In 1912, while working for the German airline DELAG, which flew zeppelins, Heinrich Kubis became the first flight attendant in history.
At the time, the primary focus of the cabin crew’s job was safety rather than providing food and beverages for the passengers. Airlines continued to look for male employees to work inside the aircraft after Kubis’ employment. The first woman to work as a cabin crew for an airline didn’t start until about 18 years later.
As a registered nurse who worked on aircraft, Ellen Church joined Boeing Air Transport in 1930. Beginning at this point, the job of the flight attendant started to change to include a more focused attitude. To care for passengers within the cabin, airlines turned to female nurses. The result was a spike in female candidates, who contributed to the development of the modern cabin crew.
The majority of flight attendants are women, as is frequently noted. In actuality, the airlines themselves favor female applicants over male ones for positions as flight attendants. Additionally, certain airlines adhere to the custom of never hiring male applicants. But some males who have yearned for a position as a flight attendant find this behavior intolerable. Those who have been working nonstop for this position find it challenging to accept this gender-discriminatory approach.
The exceptions: Other airline services, such as Ground Staff and RAMP service, typically utilize a male workforce. This is because these responsibilities call for a significant amount of physically taxing work, which males are thought to be better able to complete.
Being a member of the cabin crew is more glamorous than these vocations, and women are more supported than men in this field because of their charm and elegance. Women applicants are more likely to be hired in this field since being kind and welcoming are essential skills!
Male applicants are hired in the proportion of 4/10 by foreign airlines, compared to the devastation of 2/20 of male cabin staff on several airlines.
Females started to dominate as a stereotype due to how quickly the character of the flight attendant grew to be linked with women. However, this did not solely occur due to the candidates’ actions. Airlines set stringent regulations (many of which are still in effect today) on the weight, age, marital status, and look of these cabin staff in the middle of the 20th century. The plan was to quietly profit off of women’s sexuality.
Male business class passengers who frequently boarded foreign flights at the time provided strong support for the female cabin attendant dress requirement, which led to financial gains. A cabin crew member’s gender was essentially all or nothing.
Stereotypes that were developed in the middle of the 20th century helped shape many of the traits that still define the typical cabin crew member today. Over 75% of the cabin crew in the US nowadays are women. Because of how glamorous and feminine it is portrayed as being, it has turned off a lot of male interest.
Can we anticipate a change in the dynamics of the cabin crew in the upcoming years?
Despite a large percentage of women working as cabin crew, there are indications that the sector is evolving. The number of men applying for roles as flight crew has been trending somewhat upward.
A basic obstacle stands in the way of the guys who want to work as cabin crew, though. Not every airline is implementing what might be referred to as cutting-edge anti-discrimination attitudes. Some airlines around the world operate in a way that can appear to be sexist but is just how business is done. For instance, Indigo, a low-cost Indian airline, only posts job ads for women in roles both requiring experience and training.
Should airlines be compelled to alter their business practices to accommodate additional male flight attendants? is the question that this scenario poses.
The primary factors that favor women over men in the field of flight attendants are listed below:
- Women are thought to be more listened to than men by the general public. This helps encourage people to abide by the required instructions and safety regulations.
- They need to instill strong managerial abilities so they can deal with the reluctant traveler successfully, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, women can be educated to listen well for this reason because they are generally good listeners
- Travelers tend to find women more alluring. They can greet people with more warmth and bid them farewell with greater emotion.
- The major qualities necessary for cabin staff are generosity and attractiveness, both of which are more prevalent in women than in men. Better client satisfaction is typically ensured by them.
- Women often weigh less than men, which makes it easier to save a lot of fuel when the cabin staff is made up mostly of lighter passengers.
These are the primary explanations for why female candidates are preferred over male candidates. But to further the elimination of gender-discriminatory practices, this practice must be stopped.
A mixed cabin crew would be more effective and efficient in managing emergency scenarios like medical contingencies when the passengers or equipment need to be physically transferred or actual evacuations due to fires, damage to key parts, etc. A mixed crew would also aid in the better discipline being upheld.