#WomenCan: OMNI’s Only Female Pilot Instructor
For as long as commercial flying has been present, the prevailing gender norm has been that men are tasked to fly planes and women are responsible for caring for the passengers. This has since perpetuated the mindset that pilots are always males and flight stewards are always females.
Captain Justine Arielle Sasan, OMNI’s only female Pilot School instructor, is proof that the “traditional” gender roles prevalent in the industry can and should be shattered.
“Being the only girl in a male-dominated world is quite tough,” Justine remarked honestly. “There are things which only a fellow girl would understand and know. I enjoy working with my workmates, but sometimes I wish to have a female colleague [who] could relate to me even better,” she continued. And yet, when asked whether she saw any particular difference between her and her male counterparts, Justine unbiasedly responded: “None. We all have the same goals, and the same skill set requirements. Excellence in this career path depends on an individual’s performance, but never about gender differences. “
At just 26, Justine is on her way to earning a Flight Instructor rating and thus achieving another distinction as the only female flight instructor for OMNI. She confided that her job, though rewarding, is not without its own share of trials. “This career path has so many uncertainties which is quite frightening. You don’t know if you’re going to end up making it or end up having all your efforts be put to waste.” Nevertheless, she shared the biggest pay-off that keeps her motivated: “Seeing my students learn and apply what I teach would probably the best reward any instructor can have.”
Rooting from her experiences, Justine had a message for her fellow women occupying conventionally masculine roles. “There will be things men can do that women cannot do, but this is not one of them. If they can, we can also,” she ended encouragingly.