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Affirmative Action Reaches Airlines: United Plans for Half of Trainees to be Women and People of Color by 2030

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United Airlines

Affirmative action has played out in many industries for decades, but a new announcement from United Airlines has skeptics concerned that the theoretically noble idea has gone too far, and lives may be at risk. CBS News reports United Airlines is introducing a new plan to train 5,000 pilots by 2030.

“The airline, which is the only major one in the U.S. to own a flight school, says at least half of those trainees will be women or people of color” reports CBS. Is the airline industry really where we want to be sensitive to diversity?

According to CBS News, “across the American airline industry, less than 6% of all pilots and flight engineers are women. Only about 10% of them are Black, Asian, Hispanic or Latino Americans.” According to United CEO Scott Kirby, minorities “simply don’t have the access or the opportunity.”

Among United Airlines’ pilots, just 7% are women and roughly 13% are people of color. “We’re excited at United to be announcing the United Aviate Academy to address the structural issues with the makeup of our pilots” said Kirby.

CBS News reports on average, flight training costs around $100,000. United’s Aviate Academy will focus on enrolling underrepresented groups, and will allow potential trainees to apply for both partial and full scholarships.

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