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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Qantas condemns sexist chat forum used by pilots to discuss female colleagues

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Pilots’ comments against female colleagues in a chat room have been deemed “offensive” and “completely unacceptable” by Qantas.

The Herald Sun published posts that were made on the chat forum on August 3, 2023.

In one message, it claimed there was “a rapid influx of female pilots of a certain age group spawning offspring and then wanting flexible work arrangements”.

According to reports, two of the three Qantas pilots who participated in the forum are no longer employed by the airline, and the third is presently the subject of an inquiry that prevents him from operating an airplane.

According to The Herald Sun, the group’s moderator was a captain, and some of the communications date back to 2018.

Another message posted in the group asserted that “women pilots have a huge advantage” over men in this field.

“They can go off, run their breeding program or get a cushy job in the office at twice the pay of the other full time office staff while chest feeding,” another forum member wrote.

After launching a trial scholarship program in May 2023 for 50 female students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Qantas’ new CEO Vanessa Hudson was also featured.

One person posted: ‘Interesting the day we get a female CEO announced is the day we get advised of this overt discrimination.’

Qantas chief pilot Dick Tobiano said in a statement: “These comments are completely unacceptable. They’re offensive, don’t reflect our values and have no place here or in any other workplace. We have many talented female pilots at Qantas, and we want to encourage a lot more of them.”

He added: “Aviation hasn’t been good at that historically and clearly some outdated thinking still exists in some pockets.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

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