Strike Action Could Seriously Impact Mexican Operations Next Week

On Monday 9 March there will be a major strike in Mexico, organized by women. They are protesting against gender violence and the increasing number of murders in the country. A couple of pilots and flight attendants unions in Mexico have claimed that, although the industry cannot stop, they will be supporting this strike. Let’s see how the strike could impact the industry.

AeroMexico Boeing 787 GettyDreamliner aircraft on final approach
Mexican women will strike next Monday. How it will affect the air industry? Photo: C. V. Grinsven/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How it will happen?

The idea of a national strike of women appeared a few weeks ago after two more murders in the country. Just in January, a mind-boggling ten women a day were murdered in Mexico, which has sparked outrage across the country.

This lead to the idea of all women in the country doing a strike on 9 March. Consequently, the Pilot Union in Mexico, best known as ASPA, said,

“Due to the nature of our functions, the female pilots in the country will be active during that day. Nevertheless, our Gender Equality Commission has invited all crews to use a purple fabric. This will serve as a symbol of solidarity with women that have faced violence and discrimination.”

Also, the Flight Attendants Union in Mexico, best known as ASSA, said that this week they will have an assembly to define the actions that they will take next Monday. Currently, more than 70% of the members of ASSA are women. This lead to the deputy general of ASSA, Ricardo del Valle (ironically, a man), to say that without the women “they cannot operate.”

Liz Abadié
Mexican air industry doesn’t have real gender equality. Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno

There’s no gender equality in aviation

It is not a secret that gender equality is far from happening in the air industry. Not every airline worldwide is like airBaltic, which manages to have 50% of females in the overall staff of the company.

Also, not every country is like India, where female pilots make up almost 13% of the workforce. In India, the airline industry has made the job attractive to women.

Elsewhere, IATA launched the 25 by 2025 initiative. The idea is to stimulate a boost in gender diversity with an increase of 25%. In 2018, just 5.18% of pilots in airlines were female, and less than 3% of CEO’s in the air industry were females.

Sadly, in Mexico, the stats are very similar. In 2018, two of every 10 pilots in the country were women. Mexico was second to last in Latin America, just over Argentina.

Aeromexico pilots Getty
Two in every ten pilots are female in Mexico. Photo: PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

What are the airlines doing?

For example, we all remember the Hey Hollywood! Catch up if you can video of easyJet, attracting women to the industry. The British airline was attempting to make 20% of the new pilots in the company to be women.

In Mexico, ASPA will launch, in August 2021, a Gender Secretariat, which will represent every woman pilot in the country.

Globally, the airlines committed to the 25by2025 initiative will report annually on key diversity metrics. They will also increase the number of women in senior positions and under-represented areas, according to IATA.

Meanwhile, IATA committed to create a forum for sharing best practices and increase its own number of women appointed both to senior positions and the IATA governance. What else should airlines do in favor of gender equality? Let us know in the comments.

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