This Filipina defies gender conventions -- 36,000 feet above the ground

Dove Hair Fall Rescue+

Posted at Sep 26 2018 11:22 AM

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Piloting an aircraft is a male-dominated profession. But 36,000 feet above the clouds, a 26-year-old Filipina is soaring against gender conventions, proving that the sky has no limit. 

Lea Yosalina, a nursing graduate, followed her father's footsteps and is now a first officer in the Philippines' four-star flag carrier, Philippine Airlines. She is second-in-command to the captain in an Airbus A320 that flies to different international destinations. 

"I love that being an airline pilot gives me an opportunity to work and travel and at the same time grow as a person, fulfill my career, and do other things that I am passionate about," she said. 

IT'S A MAN'S WORLD

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Globally speaking, only a few women are employed in commercial airlines. In the US, for example, females comprise only 5.12% of the total number of pilots.

In the Philippines, only a few women have dared to sit in front of the cockpit. However, times are changing, Yosalina said. 

"The aviation industry has already evolved. You are no longer discriminated for your gender. You are celebrated for you skills, attitude, and knowledge," she noted. 

Yet, according to Yosalina, some people still cling to gender conventions. However, no words of discouragement can break her self-confidence and motivation to prove herself. 

"Sometimes I do feel like I need to make the extra effort because there are still others who doubt you – especially for someone like me that’s very vocal, honest, likes to take care of myself inside out and
assert myself," she said. 

"As long as you have the passion and determination, the commitment and discipline - you will excel not just in the aviation industry but in whatever field you put your heart on," she added. 

BEYOND PASSION, A STRONG HEART

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Maika Anthoni/Jonathan Keh

Determined to follow her father's footsteps, Yosalina faces the hurdles and defies obstacles head on. But each time she feels like giving up, she said she takes inspiration from the people who supported -- and believed in her since day one. 

"You just have to change your perspective and shift your focus. It’s human to get distracted and drift along the way – but remember why you started," she said.

Despite the fact that her profession is male-dominated, she doesn't feel pressured to act like a man. She embraces her strengths as a woman and is not afraid to express herself. 

This is why she flaunts her long, lustrous hair, which also serves as a reflection of her mood and personality. 

"My hair is my 'mane' game, pun intended," she said. "The way I style my hair is an expression of my thoughts and feelings for the day. When my hair is up and polished, I am ready for what the day has in store for me. When it's down and styled, I am more carefree and ready to socialize."

However, just like most women, the pilot also experiences hair fall, which she tries to beat by using specialized shampoos and conditioners. 

"It’s very stressful at times when I see hair falling and sticking to my white uniform and when I take my ponytail off after a long day. It adds to the exhaustion when you feel like your hair is taking a toll as well," she said. 

With her current hair regimen, Yosalina feels "happier, stronger and more confident."

"A day with no hair fall is a day ready to be conquered and
cleared for take off. Thanks to Dove Hair Fall Rescue, I have nothing to worry about. I know that my hair is well taken care of so I can focus on the flight and things that matter most," she said. 

The Dove Hair Fall Rescue is available on Lazada.

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