easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has today launched a new initiative to increase the proportion of new entrant easyJet pilots who are female. This is part of a new strategy to encourage the development of female pilots at all ranks and positions and will widen the pipeline of women who enter our pilot community.
Just over 5% of easyJet's 2,500 pilots are female - in line with the industry as a whole. Currently women make up 6% of easyJet’s new pilot intake. The airline plans to double the proportion of female new entrants to 12% over two years. This is the first phase of its long term strategy to increase the proportion of female pilots at the airline.
As part of the programme easyJet will promote the career of a pilot to young women in a number of ways including:
• Highlight the opportunities of pilot careers to female audiences such as school groups and other youth organisations - building on the work easyJet already does in mentoring young women.
• Work in partnership with organisations which promote female take-up of STEM (science, engineering, technology and maths) subjects.
• Work with easyJet’s pilot training providers to attract more women to apply for the easyJet cadet programme.
• Offer ten places for women each year on the easyJet pilot training programme with the around £100,000 training loan underwritten by easyJet
easyJet has also committed to provide additional support to develop and retain female pilots, so that more of them can go on to achieve captaincy and pilot management roles.
To achieve this easyJet will run a series of activities including:
• Introduce enhanced mentoring for female pilots (in addition to current mentoring for all pilots).
• Introduce training loan underwriting for A320 type ratings for female pilots entering from other airlines.
• Develop female captains to help them take on leadership roles such as training and base management roles.
Pauline Vahey, chair of the British Women Pilots Association commented, “The British Women Pilots' Association (BWPA) is delighted to partner with easyJet in this ground-breaking initiative. It aligns perfectly with the first aim of the BWPA to actively promote and encourage women into flying careers in the aviation industry.
“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.
“We believe it will not only benefit easyJet and the women who participate but also the industry in general.”