Research by Roehampton academic finds women are under-represented in the drone industry
- Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Dr Joanne Kuzma, Acting Director of the Roehampton Business School conducted a study to analyse the gender differences in employment in the new STEM area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones).
In the past decade, progress has been made with increasing the number of women employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. However, the numbers of women remain far below their male colleagues. The purpose of Dr Kuzma’s study was to analyse the gender differences in employment in the new STEM area of Drones.
Kuzma addressed whether women have lower levels of employment within various job functions in the drone industry compared to their male colleagues. Through statistical analysis of the websites of 112 drone services firms in seven countries, it was found that women were under-represented in the drone industry and hold only 1% of the total technical management positions. Kuzma also found that they were less likely to hold technical or managerial roles such as drone pilots or technical managers among all countries surveyed.
The highest percentage of women employed in the drone industry was in Australia, where women averaged 16% of all employees, while Germany was ranked lowest with only 6% women.
Kuzma said “In order to ensure that women have the same employment opportunities and are encouraged to enter the drone field, it is imperative that the industry reviews methods to attract a more diverse workforce including increasing the visibility of women on their company websites and other communications.”
The study showed that women are concentrated in non-technical positions, such as sales and administration and that men hold the majority of drone pilot and technical managerial positions, something that Kuzma argues severely hampers the career progression available to them and reinforces gender stereotypes.
Joanne Kuzma’s research interests combine her expertise in business and technology. She has a number of publications in the areas of social media, online privacy, drones in business, and online security. You can read more about Dr Joanne Kuzma’s study, Gender Diversity in UAV (Drone) Industry here.