United Airlines has joined other businesses in making personal characteristics a requirement for jobs, revealing that half of the company’s pilots would be women or people of color within the next decade.
“Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color,” the airlines said on Tuesday, April 6, reports the Post Millennial.
Our flight deck should reflect the diverse group of people on board our planes every day. That’s why we plan for 50% of the 5,000 pilots we train in the next decade to be women or people of color. Learn more and apply now: https://t.co/VbOFvFOksB pic.twitter.com/r0ScH6MQAJ
— United Airlines (@united) April 6, 2021
They also encouraged women and people of color to apply for training positions with United Airlines.
According to the airlines’ website, “United expects to hire more than 10,000 pilots over the next decade.” By 2030, 5,000 of those spots will be reserved for women and people of color, and “partner organizations will help identify and recruit top talent.” The “financial barrier to entry for highly qualified and motivated candidates” will be tackled in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase.
The airlines’ announcement of diversity goals has triggered scorn from Twitter users.
Conservative commentator Matt Walsh responded to United Airlines’s announcement, “Your pilots should reflect the absolute best of the best, no matter their race or gender. Nobody is so committed to ‘diversity’ that they’d willingly choose to board a plane piloted by someone who got the job through affirmative action.”
No. Your pilots should reflect the absolute best of the best, no matter their race or gender. Nobody is so committed to "diversity" that they'd willingly choose to board a plane piloted by someone who got the job through affirmative action. https://t.co/RRa1vh5gVc
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 7, 2021
One American News Network’s Jack Posobiec simply stated “Disastrous. Do not do this.”
Disastrous. Do not do this. https://t.co/UhrMTQSq14
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 7, 2021
“Heroes! Next, please hire blind pilots. I always thought it were disgusting that I’ve never seen a blind pilot,” Gad Saad, an evolutionary behavioral scientist, tweeted.
Heroes! Next, please hire blind pilots. I always thought it were disgusting that I’ve never seen a blind pilot. The ableism made me feel unsafe on your flights. We must hire pilots based on irrelevant immutable traits to achieve true equitable safety.https://t.co/FgIwls9eic https://t.co/ssqiQEwdbE
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) April 7, 2021
Some other Twitter users also gave pessimistic reactions:
What about LGBTQIA++? If my pilot isn’t a transgender pansexual bisexual I’m not flying. https://t.co/xx7Q94RszN
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) April 7, 2021
When will the blind, deaf, and amputee communities finally be represented on the flight deck? A lot of people live to 100, when will they see themselves represented here, bigots? https://t.co/Vcquj8kqfn
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) April 7, 2021
The United Airlines’ plan is different from other corporate diversity programs in that pilots are not in board rooms but are instead flying planes with many passengers. It is the type of job that requires both ability and aptitude. Skin color and the lived experience that comes with a racial or ethnic history have little impact on how to fly planes safely.
Pilots are currently over 86% male and over 88% white, according to Zippa, a job website.
Following the airlines’ announcement, Joel Berry of the satirical website The Babylon Bee wondered if United Airlines would first investigate why fewer women pursue careers as airline pilots.
Will Chamberlain an attorney, and co-publisher at Human Events, claims that United Airlines will face legal action due to its discriminatory recruiting practices and training program prioritizing particular races and ethnicities.
United is among the airlines that have spoken out against voter IDs in Georgia’s new voting rules, though they also require customers’ photo IDs to board its planes.