Airlines and gender stereotypesBack to Forum
I don’t care about the gender of the crew on a plane. For any pedants who may be reading I have been told one shouldn’t use “gender” to differentiate between women and men but the word “sex”.11 Mar 2019
For more the issue was more the contradiction between the what the new media campaign is promoting. On the OneWorld website nearly all the new media shots are of solo female travellers (seemingly successful ‘go-getters’) and yet the own PR pictures of the anniversary meeting are as far from that as can be. Not ONE in 13 of the CEO’s female.
I mean in each airline it is going to vary but I would hazard a guess that as an average 30-40% of airline frontline staff are male. I wonder how the organisers arrange such a shoot. Send a memo to each airline ‘please send a uniformed staff member for promo shot. Preferably female and under 35’? Or is it just some unwritten code that that is what is accepted.
And i’m not going to pretend for a second that for many this is what they want to see in a promo shot. It has to be, surely. Or why would the airlines do it?
As I said upthread there is absolutely a cultural aspect to it. At BA we have an online tool that allows us to view comments from actual flights we have operated and although the software is engineered to XXXX out anything ‘offensive’ it’s not unusual to read comments along the lines of ‘you should staff your premium cabins with younger and prettier stewardesses’. And they predominate from routes to Asia/India etc. At JAL, whom I used to fly for, it was all about retaining the loyalty of the japanese businessman (and it seems to work). At Qatar you need permission to marry. At SQ you have a mandatory retirement age in your 40’s unless you are promoted and have to select one of three hairstyles/cuts. And yet, we have airlines like BA, IB, Finnair sending pretty girls along to these shoots too.
But is the west that much different? I remember when AA released the media images of their new uniform and in it featured ‘real’ models. All ages, sizes and shapes as you would find in the airline. Some of the comments on various blogs were appalling.11 Mar 2019
This whole debate is full of contradictions…..damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
I wonder what any of the women involved in the photo shoot would say if we asked them how appropriate it was for them to be selected as the face of their airline?
The world we find ourselves in at the moment, is without doubt full of banana skins to come a cropper with our own personal perceptions.
In my humble opinion , and certainly in the corporate world this rush to be as diverse as possible, misses the point.
At a recent recruitment meeting for a management position, a friend was shocked to hear that the key stakeholder would be keen to ensure that the successful candidate ……“Didn’t have a **** or didn’t mind enjoying ****
Now the snowflake community might applaud this approach as pro-actively encouraging diversity. Sadly the successful candidate should have been an experienced , highly talented individual within the current organization whose team mates were bemused at the decision to recruit externally .
As for our new colleague I’d like to think her new team are not going to be resentful because they see her , not the best man for the job, but rather a quota filling placeholder.
For me, it’s simple…… Look at the person , not the label attached and be respectful of the individual not the tag.12 Mar 2019
For someone based in Singapore and use SQ weekly I dont see the stereotyping you are talking about, yes there are probably more female than male stewards and stewardesses however when there is a full plane the stewards are always in the mix serving food and doing the work that we expect from airline crew.They are always up front and with the passengers!
I think it would be fair to say that in my experience there seems to be more CSD’s (Cabin in charge) who are male but I also believe this is being addressed and we are seeing more female CSD’s.
I am not the biggest fan of SQ and to be honest as soon as I maintain my yearly status with them I fly other carriers but had to address the gender issue from their perspective.18 Mar 2019
Lovely to see BA is helping to maintain gender stereotypes with their new Club Suite… the “lady” steward kneeling when she speaks with the “gentleman” passenger…18 Mar 2019