The UK Drone collective

Drone collective cover
Photo by Rebecca Douglas on her Phantom 4 pro

Along with Becki Warner from Warner vision and Photographer Rebecca Douglas we have set up a female only UK based drone group.  First of all I need you to share this far and wide as we want to create a nice friendly group of women who fly drones.

Because we need to connect to others like us who want to inspire others to take up flying drones.  We are also looking at creating meet ups and further training opportunties.

Click here to join

Now I know that there has been a bit of a backlash from some of the facebook groups and forums that we posted this on.  Why it is that women set up little tiny groups on their own? Don’t worry we are not men bashing, we like men as approximately half the population are men. Between us we have fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons so we are not against men.   Sometimes when we ask a question we get ridiculed. I have seen it on forums where women ask a drone question and you get a few sarcastic replies all unfortunately by men as they are the majority. There are some very supportive men and they have helped me a lot. We thought we would information share, support each other as we work at our drone businesses.  We haven’t ruled out the possibility of opening up the group at a later date.

Hell,  I don’t even make my blog known on the UK forums, incase there is some kind of backlash and trolling.  It’s not that I am super sensitive, I just don’t want to deal with what can be quite a toxic place.    I know that there are a number of NQE trainers giving my blog out to help people and I am presuming some are men as the majority of people on the course are men, and they read what I have written. Yes as a collective all drone pilots professional and law abiding hobbyists it’s  good to stick together, share info but unfortunately it doesn’t always feel that way.

There are what I call feminist men, like my Dad who told his little girls, girls can do anything they want, whilst showing us how diesel and petrol engines work and what the differences are.  I have lived by that and to be honest when I was growing up in the late 90’s and early part of the noughties,  I wasn’t aware of sexism. I just got on with it, perhaps I had a tougher skin. Perhaps I let this stuff wash over or perhaps I just wasn’t aware and I just have always carried on regardless in life.

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Young girl coding Copyright Emma Gibbs

However there has been a shift recently and I think its a lot to do with the fact that women have been making some ground up and this threatens some men.  It makes the question what will happen to them, they think what work will they do?   If half the work force were to be women in most professions would the men feel uncomfortable.  So because of that then we have seen suppression and that means in all forms. It seems with lots of scandals coming to light that things have been going on behind closed doors.  Many men and women knew about these scandals all were scared, men scared to speak out and stand up to it could jeopardise their careers and women the same.  Some feeling the shame for not being strong, when actually they were being strong just by standing up all day and carrying on trying to carry the pain of what they have suffered. Yes, I am talking about the recent sex scandals.

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Tuesday,  was the 100th anniversary of some women getting the vote, parliament voted for it at 8pm on the 6th of February 1918, we the UK were at war.  And it was only a small amount of women, you had to be over 30,  own property or have been to university or be married. This meant 60% of women could not vote, including many of the women who worked in the war and whose jobs ended in peacetime. FullSizeRender 5

It wasn’t for another 10 years that all women got the vote in the UK and they had to be over the age of 21.  This is only 90 years ago.  So that is very recent history, I do believe it is unfortunately in our female psyche for many reasons not to value ourselves. This journey had only just begun to give women more rights.  It wasn’t until,  1956 that Civil service reforms in UK gave men and women who are teachers and have other government jobs the right to equal pay. We know we still have an issue with equal pay in this country.   In Ireland, 1976, Irish women are finally able to own their own homes outright. Then as recent as 1982, women in the UK were allowed to spend their money in English pubs without being refused service.  Yes you read that correctly 1982 and so before that you could be refused service in a pub just for being a woman.  I find that extraordinary.

It was only 2017  that forward thinking Iceland as a country has made it illegal not to pay the sexes equal pay.  They have been way ahead of the rest of the world for sometime.  It can be argued that even if women get the same pay for job roles they still not earn the equivalent if they take time out to have children.

With all that recent history in the UK it is easy to see why women still are not equal.  Not to value their skills, time and knowledge then under sell the work and services that they offer.  If you find other supportive women from all walks of life lifting each other up (if you pardon the pun) why not create that group.

It is difficult for others in a majority to think of how others feel, think and behave. I am not in an ethnic minority and so I don’t know what challenges they face in getting work with in the media industry I work. I can think of the challenges I face as a woman in technology roles and then offer an empathetic understanding but I don’t know what it’s like as I am not young person from an ethnic background.   That is why work forces in whatever industry should be diverse, you get a better balance of views and ways of working.  We should all be respectful to each other and supportive. There are opportunties for all.   Be envious or look at what others are achieving and use that to be inspired instead.

I am often asking for contributors for this blog to write about reviews, and I get lots of male volunteers and I give them space to write about their experiences, but why is it so very few women want to be featured?

They say if a woman is applying for a job she will read the job description and if she meets 100% of the criteria she will apply, if a man reads the same job description and he meets 60% of the criteria he will will apply and work out the rest when he gets the job.

Equality will only work if we get the men onside and they support women in their endeavours. I had always shied away from all female groups and asking for special opportunties, but times seem to have changed.  I spoke to my fellow female pilots and they wanted this so we could share and discuss ideas related to drones. Without the mansplaining and misogyny we have been receiving on facebook groups and drone forums.

Here in 2018 there seems to be a resurgence in feminism my Mum told me in the 90s,  it sort of drifted off as women were making great leaps and bounds or it felt they were. Now it seems with all the discussion around sexual predators, the centenary of some women getting the vote, the BBC salaries being shared in the public domain showing equality between the sexes.  Note it won’t be just the BBC, it was because the BBC was forced to publish the pay of the stars in 2017. It will also be in every industry, company and office in the land that is effected.  Equal pay is going to be hard to achieve especially if us women ourselves don’t value our skills and experience.

It feels like we are in a new wave of feminism, as we examine as a nation how much further we can go.  This is the centenary of women getting the vote in the uk and just need to look at the hashtags surrounding the social media posts  around the anniversary of women getting the vote #vote100 #100years #stillmarching #ourtimeisnow #thiscenturyisours and the one this post has been about #stillworktodo

Maybe Paperchase has got it right

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Spring 2018 Paperchase stock

I do feel we will be hearing more and more discussion about equality as 2018 continues.  I have no idea if setting up and all female drone group is the right thing to do, it feels right and so myself and the small group will make no apology.  Suffragettes broke windows and burnt down buildings to get action, the suffragists took quiet action and campaigned instead in peaceful process. All wanting the same thing.  I see us more like suffragists a quiet corner where we work towards our goals in a supportive way.

Feel free to comment on this post, I would like to hear your views.

The Drone Lass

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Sources

The Economist

The Guardian

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The UK Drone collective

  1. Most of the men in the groups are really great, but they have no concept that I could ever feel vulnerable while out flying alone and that I may want to pall up with other ladies. They completely miss the point, thinking a ladies group means we want complete separation from them, which is not the case.
    In the end I tried encouraging them think about it from another mans (husbands) point of view, that he wouldn’t be very keen on me meeting up with the men from the group, but wouldn’t have an issue with me spending time with girl friends with the same interests. 3 men “liked” the comment so maybe they do get it now.

    Like

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