When I was a little girl, I wanted to become a helicopter pilot like my father. He flew around the world and was literally always on the move. My passion for travelling and adventure led me to imagine my father’s occupation as ideal for myself as well. When I grew older people however did not encourage me to try to become a pilot. People thought of me as a girl with her head permanently in the clouds. “Kim, I don’t think it would work. You would have to be very good at maths and sciences,” I was told time and again, as if that was something unimaginable. My ambitions of becoming a pilot were wiped off the map before I could even fully conceptualize what it really meant to cruise the skies.
Now, more than a decade later, I often fly around the world. Unfortunately however, not as the pilot I wanted to become. I realise now that my story must resemble that of many others as the world has a serious deficit of female pilots. Globally only about 4,000 out of 130,000 pilots are women – which is about 3%. This makes the profession of pilot one with the biggest gender gaps of all occupations. It might be clear that your gender however does not determine whether you are capable of keeping a Boeing-Stear man Model 75 in the air.
So when I read the news that SpiceJet is planning to work to increase the amount of female pilots flying for them, I was thrilled. Currently about 10% of all their pilots are female, which is a bit higher than the global average, but still very low. This is good news as the profession is seen as very respectable and thus offers a unique chance for women’s empowerment.
“It brings a lot of respect for the person in the cockpit. It is an extremely remunerative position to be in. We consciously try to ensure that more and more women get into the cockpit,” SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh shared on Thursday.
Next to this, SpiceJet aims to increase their entire female workforce, so including the positions ‘on the ground’, from 18 to 35 per cent in two years. So ladies. If you have not decided on your future career yet or you are seeking a change, now is the time to knock SpiceJet’s doors.
Do you have no idea how to become a pilot? Then you’d might want to check out this video. Together we can defy gender stereotypes which tell that women cannot fly as well as men do. Let us start taking up half the sky, and look up to flying role models such as Niloofar Rahmani, Jessica Cox, Hanadi Zakaria al-Hindi and Micky axton.
Have a safe journey!
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