easyJet to Double Percentage of Female Pilots

British Airline launches initiative to recruit female pilots.



Photo: easyJet

In an initiative to increase its proportion of female pilots, easyJet, the low-cost UK airline, hopes to double its number of female entrant pilots in the next two years.

Currently, 6 percent of easyJet's new pilot intakes and 5 percent of the airline's total 2,500 pilots are female — consistent with the small percentage of female pilots throughout the industry.

"We have made sustained progress in our senior management and M&A (management and administration) communities in recent years, but we recognize that the proportion of our pilots who are female is too low, as it is across the industry as a whole," said Brian Tyrrell, head of flight operation at easyJet.

In order to attract more female entrant pilots and promote its cadet program, easyJet is launching a series of educational opportunities through partnerships with schools, youth organizations and groups that encourage young women to take up STEM education. Additionally, easyJet will reserve ten places each year for women to join its training program, and will offer training loans of about 100,000 euros, underwritten by the airline.

easyJet will also facilitate new opportunities for its current female pilots to achieve captaincy or take on leadership roles, through increased mentoring, as well as loans for A320 type ratings for those entering from other airlines.

Pauline Vahey, chair of the British Women Pilots' Association (BWPA), which is partnering with easyJet, said, "This initiative demonstrates that easyJet is a pioneer in the industry, not unlike the early women pioneers in aviation who founded the BWPA sixty years ago this year."

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