Women in Aviation: A Phenomenological Study Exploring the Needs and Wants Necessary for Graduation

Main Article Content

Eugene Kim
Jorge L.D. Albelo


Despite the increased awareness of gender and race equality movements, today's population of minority women in aviation is still underrepresented. This research focused on underrepresented minority women who want to pursue a career in the aviation field and what factors affect their level of success in a specialized aviation higher education institution. There is not enough data and research surrounding the topic of minority women in aviation and their paths to success in these institutions. This qualitative research aimed to bridge the existing gap in the literature related to minority women in aviation and their needs and wants to complete a four-year degree. The research objective was to raise awareness for equality of race and gender in aviation higher education institutions and explore the needs and wants that could lead to academic success for minority women. The qualitative research design brought in six students who identify as a minority woman defined by conditions set upon by the researchers, and they were asked a list of questions in a semi-structured interview format. The qualitative data collected from in-depth interviews helped identify significant aspects and patterns that minority women in aviation recognize as needs and wants that could lead to academic success. Open communication, friendship and community, and positive faculty support were identified as the perceived needs and wants of minority female students in aviation. These findings can be used to better serve underrepresented students in an aviation specialized higher education institution. In conclusion, the findings can be used to bring awareness on an issue that is not widely studied or discussed in educational aviation institutions.

Article Details

Peer-Reviewed Articles
Author Biographies

Eugene Kim, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Undergraduate Student

A senior currently attending the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. Eugene is majoring in Aeronautical Science for B.S while minoring in international relations and airline operations. He has been consistently on the Dean's List as well as the honor roll and is the current public relations officer for Alpha Omicron Alpha, aeronautical honor society in ERAU. 

Jorge L.D. Albelo, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Assistant Professor

Aeronautical Science, College of Aviation

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Professor Albelo is an assistant professor of aeronautical science in the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach Campus. His areas of expertise include underrepresented minorities in aviation, qualitative methods of research, aviation education & curriculum development, and airline operations. He is also a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.


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