GEM Creative Writing Intern, Mishal Dar, travelled to Europe this summer with her family. In this week’s blog she investigated first hand if the air travel industry is still stuck in stereotypical gender roles, or is it changing?
Summer travelling. That special vacation time when everything imaginable goes into the suitcase and anticipation of hotel room service and warm beach sand becomes unbearable. The destination is all well and good, but the airport in between caught my attention as well.
The last time I travelled on an airplane I noticed that there were far more female flight attendants than male. I’m pleased to report that this time around I not only noticed a more even split, but was able to chat with a female flight attendant to get a firsthand account of the situation.
Stella Vantendelo, a bubbly and sweet blonde, told me that she had always wanted to become a flight attendant because, as a child, she had admired the pretty uniforms. When asked whether she thought there were more female flight attendants than male she responded that her airline has made recent changes to encourage more gender equality, and that she has noticed an increase in male flight attendants since. Looking around, I could verify that statement as the cabin crew in my plane were an even split between female and male attendants.
It feels good knowing that certain airlines have finally awoken to the realization that they had been perpetuating the stereotype of being served by a woman. Opening up the job of flight attendant to males not only helps to eradicate this stereotype but it also creates gender equality in the workplace. With this promising discovery at the airport, I was able to start my vacation with a little hope for the future.