Capt. Alejandra Manriquez
- Age: 32
- Profession: Airplane Pilot
- Studied in Mazzel´s Flying Service in Fresno, California
- Total time: 4,400 hours
- Airbus Training Center in Miami: Initial A320
- Flight Safety Wichita: Initial Hawker 800
- Flight Safety St. Louis Missouri: Initial Legacy 600/ EMB135/145
- Previous Capabilities: H25B, A320
- Current capabilities: EMB 135/145.
Fulfill my dream of being a Pilot, have the opportunity to make flights thoughout America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Being able to fly leaders of international relevance.
My next short-term goal is my promotion to Captain.
1. In an industry with mostly male presence, what are the main challenges a woman faces as a Pilot?
Firstly, I think that we are the ones who limit ourselves by our gender, many times I have seen that the same women think that we are unable to do activities usually carried out by men. Secondly, the challenge of knowing that family life will be a little more complex but not impossible as a woman in this area.
2.How is your passion for aviation born, what leads you to get your license?
Honestly my great passion began by chance. The necessity when I passed through a bad family moment made me look for a work at the age of 18 starting as Costumer Service Staff at Toluca Airport and later as Cargo and Pilot. Thus, I discovered my love for the fascinating world of aviation.
3. What could you tell and recommend to young aviation fanatics who want to be aviator pilots ?
To get well prepared, study a lot and above all persist and do not give up despite any obstacles. Today there are many opportunities, you only have to put tenacity to achieve it.
4. Global aviation is increasingly gender-balanced, how is Mexico doing?
Within the Mexican Airlines it is already more balanced and colleagues for the must part see you as one more pilot. But we are still in disadvantage to gaining the trust of our passengers by having to continually demonstrate it with our work.
5. How does "macho" attitudes coming from fellow male pilots and passengers affects the profession and how do you deal with it?
As I said in the previous question , among the fellow men fortunately the Macho attitude is already disappearing and every day they -male colleagues- get more used to sharing cabin with us, seeing us as one more professional pilot regardless gender. There have been very few and counts the old-school ones that I have stumbled upon my career that do not accept women in the profession though. I even remember that one of them came to tell me directly that he didn´t like to fly with women or those other times that when saying nothing, you realize they don´t give you the stretch for the same thing.
With passengers most of the time they still think twice about your skills and one gains their confidence until finishing the flight, when they see that your performance was professional. Where I feel the Macho attitude is more notorious is when you compete for a promotion to Captain, because women we must show our capabilities twice and triple than a man does to achieve it.
6. How has physical beauty helped you and how has it affected you? on the one hand, it has allowed you to position yourself as a figure on social networks, but on the other does it negatively affect the professional side?
I was once told something that´s very true, that by fact of being a woman whatever you do -whether positive or negative-, will stand out much more for the simple fact of being a woman, and just like that has happened to me. That´s why we have to be even more careful in avoiding mistakes because we will be judged harsher than a man.
7. Couple life is always an issue with flight crews, how to handle jealousy and communication?
Regularly my partners have been pilots and I have had no problem with it. I believe that no matter what you do, there must be maturity and trust in a relationship.
8. Do you want to make some clarification of the "challenge" that went viral on social media?
It was very hard that they judge my professional work done for so many years and that it has spoken for itself, to be suddenly replaced for something that lasted for a few seconds as an inside joke between the captain, the flight attendant and me.
The challenge was made without violating any safety regulations, since our aircraft is not restricted by manual to be towed with the door open and the aircraft also moved for only a few centimeters by being properly towed. We did not thought it would reach any greater audiences, but we have learned many things from this situation and thus avoiding questioning our constant commitment to safety as a crew.
9. How do you see the current and future landscape for women and men in workplace on aviation issues, robotization, local and international employment opportunities?
Fortunately aviation continues and will continue growing by the years, because the need to immediately move from one place to another is part of our modern and globalized era, resulting in endless opportunities for growth and development for pilots worldwide.
10. Any additional comments you want to add, any recommendations or opinions to readers?
I would like to wish for the coming generations every success in achieving your dreams and projects and that you do not forget that everything worth while living costs effort and constant work to obtain it. Blessings to all!!
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