Qantas “boys club” exposed as leaked forums revealed to public

Qantas “boys club” exposed as leaked forums revealed to public

Qantas’ staff culture, in particular, in its pilot ranks, has come under fire after a number of crude jokes and distasteful comments surfaced from a chat room reportedly run by Qantas pilots.

A general tone of resentment runs through a number of posts on the platform which is thought to be moderated by a Qantas captain, some of which are dated back to 2018.

One dated 17 March 2019 reads, “**** a rapid influx of female pilots of a certain age group, spawning offspring, and then wanting flexible work arrangements. I spoke to a years back about flexillness, and he said they weren’t available for male SO’s for exactly that reason.”

Another more recent post took aim at incoming CEO, Vanessa Hudson and a new program providing 50 scholarships for female pilots.

“Interesting the day we get a female CEO announced is the day we get advised of this overt discrimination,” it read.

The president of the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), Anthony Lucas, told the Herald Sun the comments were “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,” Lucas, said.

“I know the overwhelming majority of Australian pilots would find these views abhorrent, and it is important to note a handful of forum comments are not remotely representative of the broader group.”

Qantas has formally stated the social media platform is not in any way supported and that two of the pilots responsible no longer fly with the airline while a third is under investigation and not currently flying.

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

“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 Aviation hasn’t been good at that historically and clearly some outdated thinking still exists in some pockets.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.”

Globally, around 5 per cent of commercial airline pilots are women. Qantas says more than 7 per cent of its pilots are female and the number is higher for Qantas Link pilots at nearly 15 per cent.

In October last year, an international pilot working for Qantas sued the airline for sexual harassment and discrimination.

It is alleged she was instructed to get coffee for her male counterparts during an engineering briefing and told that she could “do a lot better” if she died her hair blonde and wore a push-up bra.

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