Qantas In Damage Control After Staff Online Chat Reveals Serious Misogyny At The Airline

Qantas In Damage Control After Staff Online Chat Reveals Serious Misogyny At The Airline

National carrier Qantas is in damage control after an unofficial online chatroom used by staff was revealed to carry disparaging comments and humour directed at female employees.

Yesterday the Herald Sun broke the story about the online forum that had openly criticised Qantas’ newly appointed CEO Vanessa Hudson and made light of female pilots for “spawning offspring”.

According to the article, the forum is moderated by a Qantas captain. The Herald Sun reported two of the pilots in the group are no longer with Qantas and a third is not flying while under investigation.

In posts dating back to 2018, one unnamed person said that female employees had an “advantage” over their male counterparts in every area.

Another complained that women with lower skills were given preference.

“Women pilots have a huge advantage. They can go off, run their breeding program or get a cushy job in the office at twice the pay of the other full time office staff whilst chest feeding,” said the rant.

Another wrote of “a rapid influx of female pilots of a certain age group spawning offspring and then wanting flexible work arrangements”.

“Have their kids. Keep their seniority number. Come back and do their command. Be chosen for management roles over a dude.”

The Australian and International Pilots Association, which represents Qantas pilots, confirmed the “authors” were not members of the union.

AIPA president and pilot Tony Lucas denounced the comments as deplorable.

“They could not be reasonably condoned in any decent workplace, let alone in aviation, where co-operation and respect for your colleagues is crucial to doing your job effectively,” he said.

Globally, around five per cent of commercial airline pilots are women, with Qantas slightly higher at more than seven per cent and almost 15 per cent per cent at QantasLink. The Qantas Group Pilot Academy has around 20 per cent female pilots in a sign that more women are choosing aviation as a career.

In a statement to media, Qantas chief pilot Dick Tobiano said: “These comments are completely unacceptable. They’re offensive, don’t reflect our values and have no place here or in any other workplace.

“We have many talented female pilots at Qantas and we want to encourage a lot more of them. Aviation hasn’t been good at that historically and clearly some outdated thinking still exists in some pockets.

“Criticism of these programs doesn’t change our view.”

Last year a female Qantas pilot, Davida Forshaw, launched legal action against the national carrier claiming discrimination and sexual harassment.

Forshaw alleged her ­career was hindered by male superiors who made inappropriate remarks and sexual advances towards her. She said was told to dye her hair blonde and also wear a push-up bra if she wanted to succeed.

In court, Forshaw’s allegations were denied by Qantas’ lawyers, which described her statement as “embarrassing, vague and an abuse of court processes”.

Qantas’s defence said Forshaw was not entitled to any financial relief and asked for the application to be dismissed. The case continues in the Federal Court before Justice John Snaden.


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    1. Fortunately, the planes are towed into the hangers, no reverse parking.

      (In the days when passengers were allowed into the cockpit, told this to a female captain and she thought it funny. Guess it’s a no, no today? How about the one when…….)


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