By Caroline Wilson-Jones, Al Jazeera:A career in the industry is something to be celebrated and a goal worth achieving.
But if you want to be a pilot or a doctor, or even a photographer or a writer, it can be difficult to get the necessary skills and experience.
The United States has the highest number of job vacancies for women and is ranked the fourth most competitive country for female applicants, with many struggling to land the kind of roles and positions that would suit them best.
In 2016, a study commissioned by the National Center for Women & Gender Studies in the US revealed that the proportion of women in the workforce has fallen steadily in the last 20 years, from about 14% in 1996 to about 12% in 2020.
The drop is partly due to a rise in the number of female college graduates, who are more likely to find a job as part of the professional transition.
However, in many other industries, women still have a hard time finding employment.
The job market for women is much harder than it is for men, says Jessica St. Clair, an associate professor of management and economics at the University of South Florida.
In the private sector, there are still a lot of barriers that women face.
Women are underrepresented in senior management roles, in positions with more responsibility, and often in more male-dominated fields, such as finance.
“The challenge for women, when it comes to entry-level jobs, is that there is a lack of opportunities for them, and women are much less likely to have that opportunity,” St. Claire says.
She adds that the gender gap in pay for men is especially pronounced.
Women make 72% of what men make for doing the same job.
In terms of the average male wage, men earn about 78% of the same.
This wage gap, coupled with a lack to find and keep a steady job, leads to a lack in career options for women.
According to St. Louis, women often feel that they are not being listened to or treated well by managers, because they are viewed as the “lesser of two evils”.
She says that even if they manage to get a good job, it is likely to be as a waitress or waitress-in-training, or as a part-time worker, or a part time part-timer.
In her opinion, it makes a huge difference to women to be able to work a normal job, even if it’s part-timers, or full-time part-stackers.
“I think that is the biggest challenge for people, that there are just so many different paths that women go through,” Stacey says.
“So for women to actually be able make it in the field of employment, it has to be an opportunity to have a full-fledged career, and there is not a lot to choose from.”
Stacey argues that the more diverse the workforce, the better.
“In a way, the way we work today is to have so many people who have a lot in common,” she says.
“If you have that diversity in the workplace, there is less barriers for women.”
St. Clair is one of a growing number of experts who are calling for the creation of more gender-balanced roles in the aviation industry.
She says the gender pay gap is “not only unfair but detrimental” to the careers of women.
“It puts women in a very, very vulnerable position.
We know that women who work in the aerospace industry often have a harder time finding a full time job because they do not get the same benefits that other people do,” she explains.
Stacey believes that the best way to break the pay gap for women in aviation is to ensure that companies are paying their workers enough.
“If you can’t afford to pay women the minimum wage, then you are creating a whole different set of opportunities and benefits for women,” she adds.
“This is something that has to change.”
St Clair’s research has shown that women make up half of all airline employees, but the role is usually not taken seriously.
The number of women working in airline operations has grown significantly in recent years, but there is still a long way to go.