UFA Foundation

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Beyond the Skies:
The Challenges Faced by Women
in Aviation

The aviation world holds a range of fascinating aspects. For many, a career in the airline industry is a dream fulfilled, offering adventure, diversity, and a departure from mundane desk jobs. Beyond the excitement of constant travel, flight crew members enjoy unique benefits as cultural ambassadors, fostering goodwill and bridging gaps between nations.
But there’s more to consider. As the industry evolves rapidly, it brings its own set of challenges. Flight crew members encounter distinctive challenges and stress due to constant travel and demanding routines. Recognising and attending to these challenges is vital with a comprehensive approach to mind-body wellness that considers the sector’s specific demands.

Navigating the skies: A closer look at the challenges

Over 76% of female flight attendants experience moderate-to-high levels of fatigue, according to a 2023 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on ‘Fatigue and Sleep in Airline Cabin Crew’.
It highlights the unique difficulties that women aviation professionals encounter, shedding light on the following key challenges:
  • Sleep Disruption: Irregular sleep patterns resulting from long-haul flights and shift work can lead to extreme fatigue among aviation professionals. Lack of quality sleep affects overall well-being and poses physical and mental health risks.
  • Radiation Exposure: Airline flying crew members, particularly those operating at higher altitudes, encounter heightened exposure to cosmic radiation. This prolonged exposure poses potential long-term health risks, such as an increased likelihood of developing cancer.
  • Mental Health: The high-stress nature of the aviation industry, combined with gender bias and the unique challenges women face, can significantly impact mental well-being. Work-related stress, imbalanced work-life integration, and discrimination can affect mental health.
  • Musculoskeletal Issues: The physical demands of the profession can often lead to musculoskeletal problems. These issues can cause discomfort, pain, and long-term health complications if not addressed properly.

Holistic Approaches for Enhanced Well-being

Taking a comprehensive approach to prioritising women’s overall wellness, allowing them to manage the rigours of the aviation sector better, is crucial. A holistic approach to mind-body health is essential, with a focus on the following key aspects:
  • Holistic Exercise: Incorporate holistic practices involving movement and mind-body connection into your fitness routine. These activities enhance core strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and coordination and reduce stress.
  • Rhythmic Practices: Participate in rhythmic activities with coordinated movement and music for holistic wellness. These practices enhance relaxation, focus, creative expression, and coordination.
  • Self-Care and Balance: Practise intuitive nutrition by nourishing your body with wholesome meals. Learn techniques like the Alexander Technique to improve posture and body awareness—Prioritise relaxation, entertainment, and taking time off to prevent burnout and support mental well-being.

Chardi Kala: Mind-body Energy Experience for Women in Aviation

Drawing inspiration from the majestic falcon, the embodiment of speed and grace, UF designed CHARDI KALA in 2023 – a groundbreaking mind-body calm energy program exclusively crafted for women cabin crew and pilots in the aviation sector.
Based on The Anchor Practice TAP, Chardi Kala combines ancient practices and core strength training with curated music to revitalise the mind, rejuvenate the body and replenish energy reserves. The experience transforms and inspires participants to reach new heights and embrace endless possibilities, like a falcon soaring through the skies.
Chardi Kala Mind-body Energy Experience for Women in Aviation
For the participants, Chardi Kala transcends the boundaries of a program and becomes an immersive way of life—an everlasting rhythmic practice, igniting a profound sense of connection and harmony.
Imagine flight attendants and pilots who feel mentally, physically, and spiritually energised, radiating calmness and happiness. By incorporating the CHARDI KALA program into an airline’s HR initiatives, organisations can achieve success by enhancing productivity, improving organisational effectiveness, and promoting a positive culture prioritising employee well-being.
Investing in the health and well-being of women aviation professionals benefits the individuals and the organisations they work for. It helps to create a positive work culture, boosts employee satisfaction, and enhances organisational effectiveness.

About UFA Foundation

Founded in 2014, UFA Foundation is an equity-driven social impact-focused mind-body fitness lifestyle experience platform energising communities. Ancient practices blend modern science delivering a new lifestyle experience. Developing capability & building culture.
Committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a sustainable future, we empower individuals and communities through a harmonious fusion of ancient practices and modern science, providing transformative experiences.