The gains women have made in the workplace are starting to pay off in take-downs of sexist men.
A female pilot for Trip Airlines, a Brazilian company, refused to put up with a male passenger who made “loud, sexist comments upon learning the pilot was a woman.” She kicked the jerk off the plane, and police officers picked up where she left off by booting him from the airport.
Even more encouraging: the airline stood behind her. According to an AP story reported in The New York Times and elsewhere, the company said that “it would not tolerate disparaging remarks made about any of the 1,400 women working for it.”
Hurray for Trip Airlines and for the pilot packing a suitcase full of self-esteem!
It’s not entirely surprising that this pilot would stand up for herself, because she would have to have a strong backbone just to fly a commercial aircraft, a traditionally male job. Based on the small number of female pilots in North America, it is likely that a Brazilian woman would also have to swim upstream to make it in the airline industry. Women are only ”about 5% of the 53,000 members of the Air Line Pilots Association,” which covers the United States and Canada, according to CNN Travel, and only about 450 of them are captains, i.e. in charge of a plane’s entire crew.
Though Brazil has a female president, gender discrimination in employment is prevalent. UNICEF cites a Gallup Poll finding that only 20% of Brazilians “believe that society treats both sexes equally, while more than half…consider that women and men do not enjoy equal job opportunities.” Their perceptions seem accurate: there are “significant wage disparities between men and women” who perform the same job functions in Brazil. At the top of the corporate ladder, women hold only 8% of the seats on boards of directors. There are many more women at the bottom of the salary scale than at the top.
Photo credit: Morning Calm News
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