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Five facts about women in aviation: Why we need more female pilots

Amelia Earhart, Matice Wright, Jeannie Leavitt, Beverly Bass, Bessie Coleman, Harriet Quimby…when you think about female pilots, how many can you name?

One hundred and sixteen years of flight and yet in the U.S., only a little over 7% of all certified pilots are women. For professional pilots, that number drops to just over 5%.

According to a recent study by British Airways, data continues to show that women don’t think of flying as a career due to a lack of visible role models and because they were told “it’s a man’s job”. Another 20% of respondents said they only thought women could be cabin crew.

According to 2020 Bureau of Labor statistics, women now outnumber men in the U.S. workforce. With the projected pilot shortage, there is no reason why we can’t continue to see the number of female pilots grow.

  1. There are less than 10,000 female airline pilots.
    According to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, female airline pilots make up only 5.26% of the worldwide workforce.
  2. In 2018, only 13% of student pilot certificates were issued to women.
    According to the U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics annual study, of the 167,804 active student certificates, only 22, 266 were held by female trainees.
  3. Over the last 10 years, the number of female pilots has increased 26.25%.
    Based on available FAA license records, the total number of female pilots increased from 36,808 in 2009 to 46,463 in 2018.
  4. Sunday, March 8, 2020 will mark the 110th anniversary of the first female pilot license.
    Raymond de Laroche became the world’s first female pilot on March 8, 1910. She received the 26th aeroplane pilot license issue by the Aeroclub de France, helping to pave the way for future women in aviation.
  5. More than 800,000 pilots are needed worldwide over the next 20 years.
    Boeing estimates the global aviation industry will need 800,000 pilots over the next 20 years, with at least a quarter of those being for the U.S. market.

A growing number of airlines and organizations are creating programs to raise awareness of the industry and change the stereotypes surrounding gender in aviation, including the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide which has declared March 2-8, Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.

If you are interested in finding out how you can help raise these numbers by becoming a female aviator, contact us for more information.

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