The number of women working as pilots in the UK is shockingly low. We ask five what must be done to encourage more girls to consider flying as a career, how they got their start and what they love about the job
One of the many projects launched to herald Hull’s year as UK City of Culture was a celebration of its most famous daughter: the pioneering aviator Amy Johnson. But 76 years after her death – which was marked last year with a major festival – female pilots remain a rarity; worldwide just 3% of pilots are women, in the UK the figure is 6%. “The proportion is very slowly coming up but it is still miniscule,” says Marion Wooldridge, deputy chair of the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA).
The BWPA has 300 members and has been supporting female pilots for more than 60 years. It grew out of the Air Transport Auxiliary, the second world war pilots who were deemed unfit for combat but remained vital to the war effort in ferrying aircraft around the country. A considerable number of them were women, most notably Johnson, who died in 1941 while ferrying a plane. However, it is only recently that the association has started to work with schools and careers offices to help enthuse girls about Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) – and a potential career as a pilot.
Source: The Guardian