Aviation culture: A ‘glass sky’ for women pilots - literature review

Ivana Gorlin, Donna Bridges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper reports on a review of literature covering gender issues in aviation. It considers the impacts of aviation culture on women pilots. The focus of the review was on empirical studies over a 25-year period (1996-2020). Two research questions underpin the review; firstly, we investigated how aviation culture impacts women pilots’ experiences, secondly, we considered its effect on women as pilots. Using a hermeneutic methodological framework, we found that cultural attitudes towards women pilots in the aviation industry are biased and discriminatory. The studies in the review overwhelming concur that the hegemonic masculine culture that dominates aviation significantly diminishes women pilots' experiences and undermines their performance. The contribution of this review to the field of aviation is significant as it brings together and synthesizes academic research from a diverse range of disciplines, covers civil and military aviation and spans a research period over two decades. The literature suggests cultural reform within the aviation industry is needed to affect any real change on the experiences of women pilots.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Journal International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2021


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