Assigning the FAA to Promote Women in Aviation not the fastest way to that Goal.

Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin
U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation Supporting Women In Aviation

How Congress Is Trying to Bring More Women Into Aviation

GAMA Commends Congressional Legislation Promoting Women in Aviation


Lawmakers Move To Foster Women's Careers in Aviation

New Legislation Supports Women In Aviation

The Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act aims to boost the number of women pursuing aviation careers

Statement by Women in Aviation International President Dr. Peggy Chabrian on Current Legislation 

Congress proposes to help Women to Enter and Thrive in Aviation


DOT, not FAA, best suited to make that happen

It is rare when a bill is proposed and all of the commentary (see above) is 1000% in support of its swift enactment.

It is equally rare that the findings of proposed legislation are totally persuasive of its merits:

(1) Women make up over 50 percent of the national workforce, but are significantly underrepresented in the aviation industry. Women represent only 2 percent of airline mechanics, 4 percent of 12 flight engineers, 5 percent of repairmen, 26 percent of air traffic controllers, 18 percent of flight dispatchers, and 6 percent of pilots.

(2) 12 percent of students enrolled in AABI-credited programs are women.

(3) Women have made tremendous contributions to aviation while under steep adversity. Courageous women like Blanche Scott, Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Ada Brown, and so many others paved the way for women in aviation and engineering. Their leadership shall be valued and remembered as we continue to grow the influence of women in aviation.

(4) Programs like the annual ‘‘Girls in Aviation Day’’ established by Women in Aviation International in September 2015 help young women be introduced to the different opportunities that are open to women in the aviation and aerospace industry. Support for these efforts will go a long way in supporting women’s aspirations in these fields.

Before leaving the Capitol for the Holiday Break, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, andsEN. cOLLINS BILL

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that would encourage women to

pursue careers in aviation and promote programs to support their professional development in the field.


Representatives Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.




Specifically, the Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act of 2017 would:

  1. Express the sense of Congress that the aviation industry should explore all opportunities to encourage and support women to pursue a career in aviation;
  2. Direct the FAA to create and facilitate a Women in Aviation Advisory Board to promote organizations and programs that provide education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women in the aviation industry; and
  3. Direct the FAA to submit a report to Congress on common trends that discourage women from pursuing aviation careers; expanding existing scholarship opportunities for women in aviation; and coordinating professional training and recruitment programs.


There is no doubt that this an excellent initiative and posts like this sampling should demonstrate this forum’s bona fides:

Great Aviation Leader dies with long list of Achievements- a WASP and so much more–Women in Aviation Scholarship ?

Early Women Pioneers of Aviation @ Boeing plus United’s support today

News about Women in Aviation
 Women of Aviation Worldwide Week

BOEING says Women could fill critical positions in Aviation

Women are slipping the surly bonds of Aviation, too

Professional Aviation Engineer sets an Example for other Women to follow her Trail

Interesting Efforts to draw Women to becoming Pilots

National Aviation Hall of Fame recognizes Women in Aviation

FAA gets good grade on protecting against sexual harassment

Bowens built an exceptional record at SAN & heads for retirement with well-deserved praise!

No quarrel with the need or remedies in the Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act. What the sponsors might consider is the designation of the FAA as the primary responsible agency. Some thoughts:

  • The FAA is a safety organization; it has some competence in DBE and WBE, but its existing assignments are critical and demanding. Moving assets to focus on this critical issue may detract from a safety mission, but more significantly, may not involve professionals whose expertise will likely not be inthe educational-training-mentorship-outreach- recruitment sphere.
  • This is an initiative to which airlines, OEMs, airports, repair stations, the FAA (its ATC workforce had one of the better participation percentages) and others quickly will subscribe. Thereafter, progress will come, in part, from reminders from the program sponsors.
    • the FAA, one of the targets for improvement, cannot be expected to “police” itself,


  • the FAA’s primary mission should be safety; detracting from that sole focus is not a good idea.
  • The US Department of Transportation has a broader range of managerial competences. As a Cabinet Level organization, it has greater visibility and thus, powers of persuasion when dealing with C level executives.
  • Another more powerful action organization would be Women in Aviation. The DoT could contract with them to act on the Secretary’s behalf, invoking Secretary Chao’s name, when needed. Its existing staff, literally, occupies the field of women in aviation. Funding by Congress and/or the DoT could expand the available resources to promote the hiring, training and promotion of women.


Senators and Congresswomen, might it be suggested that Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act of 2017 fits the aphorism of “Right Church, Wrong Pew”. Assigning this initiative to the DoT/WIA elevates its importance to the external audiences being addressed. Making them the primary responsible parties will likely result in greater progress, faster.


Share this article: FacebooktwitterlinkedinFacebooktwitterlinkedin

Be the first to comment on "Assigning the FAA to Promote Women in Aviation not the fastest way to that Goal."

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.