Tammie Jo Shults Kicks Ass 

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

When an engine failed catastrophically on Southwest flight 1380, veteran pilot Tammie Jo Shults knew exactly how to handle it.

Some feel safer with a male pilot, but I go the opposite way. All pilots are incredibly well-trained, but when I have a female pilot, I feel even safer. She likely had to be far better than the average just to get the job. Industry veterans back up this thinking:

One thing, however, is clear: while the times are a changin’, they are changing slowly—and women are often held to a different standard. “Men are assumed to be able to do their job well until they prove they cannot. Women are assumed to not be able to do it until they prove they can,” says Cheryl Pitzer, a captain at FedEx. “We have to be better than average or we get criticized for not being good enough,” says Wendy O’Malley, captain on a business jet for a Silicon Valley company.

In North America, women represent only about 5% of commercial pilots. Here’s hoping the powerful example set by Tammie Jo Shults helps improve that number.


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