easyJet celebrates milestone in plan to recruit more female pilotsDec 09, 2018
It is delighted that 15% of its latest new entrants in the past financial year are female.
Currently only 5% of all pilots worldwide are female, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. Of that, just over 450 of them have achieved the rank of captain.
easyJet, headquartered at London Luton Airport, launched the initiative to attract more women into a career as a pilot in 2015 when women only made up 6% of its new pilot intake.
The figure doubled to 12% within a year. The airline hadexpected that 20% would equate to 50 female pilots ut it attracted more than 50 female pilots this year and now has more than 200 female pilots flying its aircraft.
easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “It’s hugely encouraging. The ambitious goal of 20% is in our sights and we don’t plan to stop there.
“As well as encouraging applications from women now, we also recognise we need to start young so that we can be simultaneously changing perceptions of the career and so improving the gender balance of the profession for years to come.”
easyJet pilots made more than 100 school visits last year and the airline sponsors sponsor the Girlguiding Aviation badge for Brownies to get girls interested in flight at an early age.
“I firmly believe that no other airline is doing more on this issue,” said Mr Lundgren.
Julie Westhorp, chairman of the British Women Pilots’ Association, said: “The BWPA are delighted that easyJet are maintaining the momentum in encouraging women to consider a career in aviation.
“Their pilots continue to support our outreach work to encourage young people, male and female, to raise their aspirations and to change the perceptions of teachers and parents to realise that becoming a pilot is an achievable and rewarding career, whatever gender.
“With the global shortage of pilots there is no better time for airlines to realise that by encouraging women to apply they are expanding their recruitment pool to recruit the best person for the role, as evidence and history clearly shows that being a pilot is not a male prerogative.”
easyJet intends to recruit 460 new pilots to meet record demands for the airline for a third consecutive year, as its European network continues to grow. Opportunities range from cadet pilots starting their career to experienced co-pilots and captains from other airlines and the military.