Diversity in Aviation Industry

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Ison, D. C., Herron, R., & Weiland, L. (2016). Two decades of progress for minorities in aviation. Journal of Aviation Technology and Engineering, 6(1), 4.

Article Summary

This article seeks to evaluate the progress made by the minorities in the United States in the aviation industry. According to the authors, the U.S population has been experiencing an overwhelming diversity over the past decades due to increasing number of the representatives of minorities. The 2010 census report illustrated that there was 3.8%, 1.2%, and 0.3% increase in Hispanic, Asians, and Blacks populations respectively. However, the white population decreased by 2.7% from 75.1% to 72.4% over the same period, although still being the largest labor force. In the study, the authors initially focused on poor diversity in the aviation industry as well as the scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) fields. The researchers eluded that there are greater benefits of diversity in the aviation industry, while the increasing shortage of pilots is observed, which creates the need for stakeholders to diversify the pool of employees. Therefore, the investigators evaluated the trends and the significance of minorities in the aviation industry by assessing the competence of the professional pilots belonging to such groups.

The investigators analyzed the trend of the increasing enrollment of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanic citizens into professional pilot education despite a steady decrease among women and Native Americans during the period from 1997 to 2014. The research took into account numerous interventions made to encourage the involvement of minorities in aviation industry. The study sample population encompassed students who successfully completed professional pilot programs from accredited degree offering institutions in the United States. Different criteria were used for sample selection, including gender, race, award level, and total degrees.

Article Evaluation

This study represents a well-developed reasoning pertaining to historical and current trends in the U.S workforce. However, it does not provide any precise and concrete guidelines for the evaluation carried out. The missing point to be analyzed is that the United States form part of a global village, where export and import of labor is largely practiced. A considerably large population of Americans participates in the aviation industry in other countries, but undergo training in the United States; similarly, some Americans working in the Aviation Industry in the United States were trained abroad. In the study, the data set has been excluded from analysis despite including some individuals from the communities of the U.S. minorities. However, the inclusion of data from the Department of Labor and US Census Bureau greatly contributed to enhancing credibility of this research. 

The article does not address straightforwardly its core purpose from the introductory section, and therefore, it is impossible to realize what the article intended to focus on until reaching the methodology part. Although the introduction of the background of the study and the thesis are importantly provided, overreliance on these elements discourages the reader the from reading the whole article and understanding its primary focus. If I were the author of this article, I would have made the introduction more concise and specific in addressing poor diversity in the aviation industry. However, when taken as a whole, the article is well written and contains an important message to the public planners and policy developers in guiding the United States to prosperity by the inclusion and training of the representatives of minorities, given that they are expected to constitute the majority in a few decades.

Although the article clearly illustrates and provides an in-depth understanding of its intended purpose, there is a crucial piece of information that ought to have been included in the study. The investigators are evaluating reasons of poor diversity in the American workforce, particularly in relation to the employment of the representatives of minorities in the aviation industry. The researchers analyzed the trend of the increasing representation of minorities in the workforce, but fail to examine the reasons and factors that inhibited the minorities from attaining qualifications to such jobs in the past and how they have changed over time. Instead of identifying and discussing factors leading to the interminable strides of the minorities, the authors advocate for further studies on the issue. It would have been proper to include this information on the origins of the existing trends and how they have affected the employment of the minorities.

The data used in the study was obtained from a reputable source under very strict and highly supervised conditions. However, the data which has been stored for more than ten years presents a challenge to obtaining all the knowledge needed, specifically due to the advancements in information technologies and the increase in bureaucracy. Other materials used in the study were subject to census estimates and field sampling, which increased the possibility of the occurrence of errors in the data analysis, but the authors did not take it into consideration while making conclusions on their findings. Therefore, the presented information can be considered inconclusive as it can only be generalized in relation to the U.S population by providing statistics as a percentage of the general population or strictly to the context of the study.

January 19, 2024
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Civil Rights Diversity

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