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Flying above gender stereotypes: Women working as aircraft maintenance technicians

Frontier spotlights female technicians in field historically dominated by men
Flying above gender stereotypes: Women working as aircraft maintenance technicians
Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 20:40:34-04

DENVER — In honor of Women's History Month, Denver7 is spotlighting women who are paving the way for future generations.

A 2021 study from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed only 2.6% of all aircraft maintenance technicians (AMTs) are women. That same study showed 11% of aircraft maintenance technician graduates were women, which those with Frontier Airlines see as encouraging, but believe more work needs to be done.

The Vice President of Human Relations for Frontier Airlines, Steve Schuller, said their company has about double the national average of women working as aircraft maintenance technicians.

“The aircraft mechanic field has largely been dominated by men, and we think that needs to change," Schuller said. “One of the big barriers to becoming an AMT is just the cost. So we're also proud of the fact that we have scholarships available... to help to reduce some of those barriers to entry for all mechanics, especially females.”

Schuller said the jobs do not require a college degree, but every aircraft maintenance technician must be licensed, which can be costly.

“We want to focus in on creating awareness and visibility for the careers in aviation maintenance for females," Schuller said.

One of those women working as an aircraft maintenance technician for Frontier Airlines is Alexandria Gallagher, who said she has loved airplanes since she was young.

Gallagher is not surprised by the low number of women in the field.

"We as women are still paving our way in our society," Gallagher said. “I haven't faced any difficulties more than any other person out in the world [on the job], except my own insecurities as a woman in the society.”

Gallagher said society puts certain expectations on both men and women that can create those insecurities.

“As you get older, you realize what those are, and the more confident and secure you become of yourself, I think that those fears start to go away," Gallagher explained.

Still, Gallagher feels women are not treated as equals with their male counterparts in the modern era.

“When we say we want to be equal, we just want to be treated with just simple respect," Gallagher said. “Without expectation, without being sexualized, you know, or this gender gap where I expect you to be this way and you expect me to be that way. I feel like that's a very dangerous thought in our society.”

Gallagher said through her job with Frontier Airlines, she has become more confident in her own skin.

“You only get one life, and that reality is up to you," Gallagher said with a smile. "The more comfortable you are with yourself, and you don't care what other people think, the farther that you're going to go, and you will you'll be able to reach your dreams.”

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