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5 DIVERSIFYING THE AVIATION WORKFORCE
Pages 114-151

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From page 114...
... Acknowledging that formal policies once barring minorities and women from aviation jobs no longer exist, the committee also recognizes that discriminatory attitudes and practices continue in American society. We believe that no industry is exempt from their effects, and our views are shared by others who have studied these issues directly and extensively.
From page 115...
... note, "because of the segregated nature of black aviation during the 1920s, '30s and '40s, coverage in white periodicals is very scanty." Black pilots, both men and women, were among the pioneers of flight, despite "the widely-held notion in the aviation community that blacks lacked even the aptitude to fly" and although "blacks found themselves arbitrarily excluded from flight instruction" (Hardesty and Pisano,1983:5~. Bessie Coleman, who in 1922 became the first black pilot to earn a license in this country, had to go to France for flight training.
From page 116...
... World War II saw the lowering of some barriers facing minorities and women in aviation, especially in the military. The Civilian Pilot Training Program and War Training Service Program provided a pool of flight instructors and a trained cadre of about 2,000 black pilots.
From page 117...
... The airline and its unions agreed to undertake remedial actions and to modify their employment and membership practices for minorities and women. The decree also established incumbency employment goals, to be reached over a 5- to 6-year period, for a number of job categories, including mechanic, storekeeper and ramp service, flight attendant, customer service agent, reservation sales agent, air freight agent, management, and clerical staff; it also set hiring goals for entrylevel pilot positions.
From page 118...
... · Black airline employees are disillusioned and frustrated by their companies' treatment of blacks. · The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has failed to monitor adequately the airline industry for affirmative action compliance.
From page 119...
... Especially in light of past efforts to discourage minorities and women from participating in aviation, efforts must be made to develop the interest of individuals from underrepresented groups in undertaking aviation careers. There must be equal opportunities for minorities and women to develop the basic academic competencies to successfully pursue aviation careers if they choose.
From page 120...
... Air transport123,8773,134 (2.5) Flight instructor certificates77,6134,556 (5.9)
From page 121...
... Not surprisingly, then, voluntary programs are less apt to attract members of these underrepresented groups without special efforts to reach and recruit them. A number of aviation education programs undertake such efforts, including the FAA' s Aviation Career Education Academies as well as more targeted programs sponsored by groups such as the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, the NinetyNines, and Women in Aviation, International.
From page 122...
... We already see many instances of this occurring, as in the National Coalition for Aviation Education; under its auspices (according to its mission statement) 26 organizations are "united to promote aviation education activities and resources; increase public understanding of the importance of aviation; and support educational initiatives at the local, state, and national levels." Another example comes from an FAA regional official, who reported to the committee that a very important benefit of the region's Aviation Career Education Academies "is the spirit of cooperation that develops between the FAA, the educational institution, the aviation industry, and the community in helping our young people succeed." This cooperation was exemplified by the number of organizations participating in the program, including the Organization of Black Airline
From page 123...
... Here we focus on the FAA's other aviation education activities designed to encourage interest in aviation and aviation careers (the Aviation Career Education Academies, Aviation Education Resource Centers, teachers workshops, etc.~. The budget for these activities, which amounted to $767,000 in fiscal 1993, was reduced to $50,000 for fiscal 1996, including the value of headquarters aviation education support (these figures and the FAA explanations for the budget changes are from internal FAA documents supplied to the committee)
From page 124...
... ought to address in cooperation with the state and private interest groups who already support so many aviation education activities. The committee recommends that industry work in partnership with state and private groups and the FAA to maintain basic aviation education and information services.
From page 125...
... is the persistent use of the term airmen to describe specialized aviation personnel. Official FAA publications continue to report statistics on certificates held by "U.S.
From page 126...
... These reports have struck a nerve in large part because of widespread fears that the United States is losing its competitive advantage in the global marketplace. The 1990s have seen significant reform of vocationally oriented education programs at the federal, state, and local levels and the creation in many states of comprehensive workforce development agen
From page 127...
... A nonprofit organization, Opportunity Skyway was founded in 1990 by the Prince Georges Private Industry Council and today has programs operating or under development in 13 states. Through the program, students have the opportunity to learn aeronautics integrated with math, science, and other subjects, to attend private pilot ground school and receive flight training, and to participate in internships and apprenticeship-type workplace opportu .
From page 128...
... The committee recommends that the responsible agencies and groups work to create more accurate public understanding of modern aviation careers and acceptance of the technical education needed to prepare for them. BASIC ACADEMIC COMPETENCIES1 In broadening the diversity of its workforce, aviation shares a dilemma with other industries dependent on advanced and rapidly changing technologies: un 1In preparing this section, the committee has drawn in part on the work of the Committee on the Feasibility of a National Scholars Program of the National Research Council's Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel.
From page 129...
... will also be closed off to students without adequate backgrounds in math and science. Furthermore, one airline that has publicly described the criteria it uses to select pilot trainees has indicated that proficiency in scientific subjects at school is a good predictor of success in flight training (Actor, 1989:74~.
From page 131...
... Nationwide, only a small percentage of elementary schools have substantial science and mathematics resources. Moreover, minority students have less access to computers in elementary school (J.
From page 132...
... Achievement data showing a slow but steady decrease in the black-white mathematics gap in the elementary grades over the past decade suggest that some factor in basic skills instruction may be having a modest benefit. Math and Science Exposure in Middle and ,Iunior High Schools The middle school years usually determine whether a student will participate in the academic track, traditionally a prerequisite for access to advanced math and science courses.
From page 133...
... Nevertheless, disparities in resources available to and achievement of minority students are again apparent. In contrast to the similarities in teacher qualifications at the elementary school level, teacher qualifications in secondary schools differ substantially across school types.
From page 134...
... These differences in course taking and in the scores of 17-year-olds may be traceable in part to developments in the middle school years, when higher-scoring students are placed in higher-level mathematics classes and minority students are more likely to be placed in lowerlevel and remedial courses (J. Oakes, 1990a)
From page 135...
... The attitudes of girls and boys diverge early, however, particularly in the area of science. Even in elementary school, girls show less positive attitudes toward science and science careers than do boys and report fewer science experiences.
From page 136...
... Improving Mathematics and Science Competencies Among Minorities and Women The task of improving mathematics and science competencies so that minorities and women are prepared for aviation careers if they so choose is bound
From page 137...
... They are sensitive to the needs of the groups that they intend to serve and develop their intervention approaches around those needs. Although the first intervention programs targeted students in high school and college, there has been a growing awareness that the factors impeding minority access to scientific, mathematical, engineering, and technical careers are present long before high school and that intervention to increase the talent pool is best undertaken before the ninth grade, whereas strategies to decrease attrition from the pool should be targeted at all points in the process.
From page 138...
... Where specialized aviation programs exist at the K-12 level, they are likely to be most effective when they collaborate with rather than operate independently of systemic efforts to improve educational performance. The committee recommends support for efforts to improve the general preparation of elementary and secondary school students in mathematics and science and stresses the continuing need to focus special attention on improving opportunities for and the academic achievement of minorities and women.
From page 139...
... Flight training can add as much as $7,500 annually to the regular cost of postsecondary education, depending on the college attended. Regular tuition, room and board, and other expenses for academic year 1994-1995 at U.S.
From page 140...
... But we have been told that the costs of education still pose a barrier for many students and discourage some from undertaking expensive options such as flight training. We have also been told that privately sponsored scholarship programs are sometimes unwilling to allow the incremental costs of flight training to be included in the costs of education they will cover.
From page 141...
... Serious financial obstacles may exist in any event at this transition phase between initial flight training and employment by an airline. Student loans are not available to finance the many hours of flight time that pilots must accumulate after college to be ready to apply for an airline job.
From page 142...
... The committee recommends that airlines formalize and publicize their hiring criteria so that schools can develop appropriate programs of study and individuals can make informed decisions about training and career paths. It appears that pilot selection criteria are also in need of review and that changes suggested by new job task analyses and research on crew performance might improve selection procedures and also reduce barriers for women and minorities.
From page 143...
... , despite the fact that the military is selecting individuals for pilot training, whereas the airlines are selecting from among job candidates who are already experienced pilots. Our review of the literature on military pilot selection provides rather dramatic evidence that minorities and women may be more interested in flight training than their numbers in the pilot ranks would suggest.
From page 144...
... The highest prediction of performance in undergraduate pilot training using all available predictors is only .426 (accounting for only slightly more than 18 percent of the variance) , which means that a large amount of the variance in flight training performance is not accounted for (Carretta and Ree, 1994~.
From page 145...
... ; social relations, personality, and compatibility with Cathay; leadership/ subordinate style; and motivation and ambition (Bartram and Baxter, 1996: 150151~. Research in recent years has focused on predicting job performance, not just success in initial flight training.
From page 146...
... The point of reporting the findings of our initial foray into selection procedures is to emphasize how much room there appears to be for new approaches. Concerns about the usefulness of existing pilot selection measures in predicting job performance in the modern commercial cockpit suggest that improvements are quite possible, at least in theory.
From page 147...
... The committee recommends that all airlines examine their selection criteria and use procedures consistent with the best available knowledge of job tasks and effective crew performance. School and Industry Climate This chapter began with a recitation of the long struggle that minorities and women have faced to become full members of the aviation community.
From page 148...
... Also like other industries, aviation still has to shatter the so-called glass ceiling: the invisible, artificial barriers blocking women and minorities from advancing up the corporate ladder to management and executive positions (Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995a:iii) .6 The Glass Ceiling report provides context for a discussion of the glass ceiling within the aviation industry.
From page 149...
... The commission identified three levels of barriers to the advancement of women and minorities in businesses: societal, governmental, and internal structural barriers within the control of business (Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995a:26-36~. The internal structural barriers within the control of business include restrictive outreach and recruitment practices and pipeline barriers (initial placement and clustering in staff jobs that are not the career track to the top; lack of mentoring, management training, and opportunities for career development; and other internal practices that limit advancement)
From page 150...
... As the Glass Ceiling report points out, only businesses that sought to diversify their workforces in the late 1960s are now "cracking the glass ceiling," whereas most of those who started later are far behind (Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995a:36~. From every indication available to us, we would have to conclude that the airline industry falls in the latter category, with substantial progress yet to be demonstrated.
From page 151...
... DIVERSIFYING THE AVIATION WORKFORCE 151 most successful at breaking down the barriers that hold back talented minorities and women. The committee recommends continuing efforts, vigorously led by top officials, to root out any remaining vestiges of discriminatory behavior in aviation training institutions and aviation businesses and to provide a favorable climate and truly equal opportunities for all individuals who wish to pursue careers in the aviation industry.


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