If you find yourself pondering the question, ‘Can a woman be a pilot?’, I have compiled a list of reasons why women should pursue their pilot careers and break all the stereotypes around it.
This blog is composed of a list of reasons why women should pursue their pilot career. Whether you are considering a career change or have always had a passion for aviation, these reasons will show you why more women should become pilots.
To give you an idea of the evolution of women pilots, I will share a few historical women aviators. This will give you an idea where women's aviation history began, and the barriers that prevented more females from entering the aviation world. Then I will talk about 8 reasons why women should purse their professional pilot careers from pilot demand statistics to personal enjoyment.
Can women be pilots?
Blanche Scott was the first female to fly in 1910 when the plane she was allowed to taxi became airborne.
Raymonde de Laroche was a French pilot who became France's first female pilot in 1910.
Harriet Quimby also became America's first licensed female pilot in 1911.
Anne-Marie Jansen was the first female fighter pilot in 1997.
Else Haugk became the first Swiss woman to earn a pilot's license in May of 1914.
These are the names of a few female pilots who made a mark in women's aviation history. As time passed, more and more women have become professional pilots and joined the the growing number of women in aviation.
Since 1907, women have been flying powered aircraft, but most of them were limited to working in private sector jobs before 1970. For a long time, a male pilot faced less restrictions and discrimination than his female counterparts.
Women who overcame these barriers and found success in various aerospace industries have become role models and helped younger generations of women continue to advance their careers.
8 Reasons Why Women Should Pursue Their Pilot Career
Demand for Female Pilots
In 1960, female pilots only made up 3.6% of all pilots worldwide. Today, that percentage is close to 9%. While this increase is an improvement, it is not increasing fast enough.
Historically, aviation careers were seen as essential only for men to take on. The reason behind this belief is the fact that the aviation industry was not gender diverse and kept women sidelined to positions outside of the cockpit.
Today, these views have drastically changed and more companies are looking to add women to their flight crew. More operators are advocating for gender equality by bringing in more female commercial pilots and straying away from the idea that women can only be flight attendants.
Malori Wagner, helicopter admissions and business development manager, speaks about her experience encountering the demand for more pilots today: "Our team attended HAI Heli Expo 2022 and noticed that there are more jobs than ever for helicopter pilots right now. If you are thinking about becoming a helicopter pilot, the time is now and the jobs are there."
More and more companies are seeking women to fill positions in management, flight instruction, air traffic control, and as commercial pilots.
Fill the Pilot Shortage Gap
Every year the demand for pilots is growing and the airline industry in particular is feeling that pressure. The number of new pilots is not keeping up with the anticipated demand.
Going back to the ratio of male to female pilots, there is huge difference. The industry has been working to address the pilot shortage for years but most of these pilot positions are being filled by male pilots.
This is where women come into action. As we see, there is a demand for females in the aviation sector and a demand for pilots in general. This industry needs more women to pursue their pilot career and take over the controls.
Airlines have not been the only ones effected by the pilot shortage. There has been a pilot shortage since 2018 for in the helicopter industry. Recently, this shortage has gotten worse.
Pursing a flying career can put you on the past to job security. There are many positions that need to be filled now and in the years to come just waiting for women to take that step into the aviation field.
As I just mentioned, job security is a huge reason to become a pilot. While commercial airline pilots are the first thing that come to mind when hearing the word pilot, there is an endless amount of diverse job opportunities in various industry segments that a pilot can pursue.
If you're looking to become an airplane pilot, some possible jobs include cargo pilot, charter pilot, test pilot, agricultural pilot, and even firefighter pilots. As long as you reach the minimum hours required for these positions, your possibilities are endless.
On the other hand, if you're more intrigued in flying helicopters, then the list is just as long. Some available jobs would be tour guide pilot, EMS pilot, utility pilot, firefighter pilot, and search and rescue pilot.
The qualification for most pilot jobs is holding a medical certificate, commercial pilot license and reaching a certain number of flight hours per the job type.
Just like trade jobs, for years this field was very male dominated and not many women thought of entering the world of aviation. In the last several years, more women have been joining the trades and recognizing large job opportunities within these fields. In the same regard, more women are joining the aviation industry and opening themselves up to a whole new world of job opportunities.
If you're looking for more flexibility between work and your personal life, aviation will fit right into a list of careers that offer this balance. Being a pilot comes with a flexible schedule over a fixed daily schedule.
The balance between work and free time comes with a variety of jobs you find in the aviation industry. However, if you're trying to avoid a typical 9-5 job working 5 days a week, pursuing your pilot career will fit that criteria.
Being a female pilot with a flexible schedule can be beneficial in all sorts of ways. If you have a family or are planning to have a family, having a flexible work schedule gives you more time to spend with them.
If you're loving the flexible schedule aspect, but going to a major airline is not a goal of yours, remember, aviation is filled with diverse jobs for both airplane and helicopter pilots.
Helicopter pilots have more flexibility with numerous different job types. EMS, tours, and search and rescue are possibilities for female pilots in their career.
Getting your commercial pilots license will give you a general day-to-day flexible schedule, but it is also widely flexible depending on the type of job you pursue.
Women Welcoming Aviation Communities
Women's community groups for professional female pilots is growing by the day.
In order to have more females feel welcomed, Women in Aviation International dedicates their focus to providing year round resources for women in any sort of aviation field. This non-profit organization was founded in 1994 to serve women in aviation and help them have a better experience in the field.
Women interested in becoming a professional helicopter pilot have the opportunity to become a Whirly Girl. This international women helicopter pilot group focuses on helicopter mentoring and sharing events to encourage networking between women pilots.
Both non-profit organizations were created to bring awareness to the growing number of women pilots and provide an amazing community from the beginning of flight training throughout a women's professional pilot career.
There are many more groups available online and organized within flight schools themselves. At Hillsboro Aero Academy, we are seeing a growing number of women aviators that are starting their flight training journey or joining our staff. These are great ways to get your pilot career started off with hundreds of others who share a similar interest in aviation and getting involved with a supportive community.
It is well known that studying aviation is costly due to the expense of aircraft costs for training, so it is important that there are funding options available to students can stay focused on their training.
There are many scholarships being offered right now for women who are considering pursuing their aviation careers and for those currently training. Some groups like WAI have their own scholarships to help women financially through pilot training.
Scholarships like these are being funded specifically for women pilots to motivate them and help more females get through their pilot training and dive into the amazing world of aviation.
You can also find more scholarships advocating for female pilots on the Aviation Scholarships website from the Federal Aviation Administration.
If you've always dreamed of traveling, becoming a professional pilot will combine both your dreams of traveling and flight. You will be exposed to endless travel opportunities as a pilot.
Many airline companies provide hotel stays for their pilots once they have arrived to their destination, if they are needing to stay overnight. Depending on your next flight, this gives pilots the freedom to explore the current destination.
This cuts down on travel costs from airline tickets to hotel stays. With those two factors cut out, the cost of the trip drops drastically and instead, you're essentially getting paid to travel! You can't beat that.
Now this does not mean you will only be able to travel while on a shift. Another perk of being a professional airline pilot is the discount on airline tickets. Depending on your destination and the airline you're flying with, more often than not, you'll be saving yourself a lot of expense.
This also opens up an opportunity to experience different cultures. Being a pilot will expose you to many people from all around the world. Having the off days between flights in another place allows you to experience the people and culture in your current destination.
Unique Work Environment
No matter where you are flying, you'll get to see the world from a unique perspective.
Unlike other jobs that may tie you down to the same building or office, you'll have an office in the clouds with forever changing scenery.
When our Talent Acquisition Manager, Ashley Souza, was asked why she pursed her pilot certificate she mentioned that a big reason was for her love of flight, "I fly for rainbows, the sunsets, the sunrises - for the freedom and adventure."
Whether you chose to join the airline industry or be an EMS pilot, you'll often have the opportunity to fly somewhere new.
Where can you find a flight school for female pilots?
At Hillsboro Aero Academy, we welcome all women from around the world and strive to help more females become pilots and join the world of women in aviation. As a flight school, our mission is turning your dream of flight into a rewarding career. We offer professional pilot flight training from private pilot through certified flight instructor. If you are interested in learning more about flight training, you can click here to join the airplane webinar or click here to join the helicopter webinar. If you have any questions or want to get in touch with our admissions team, you can reach out to 1.503.726.3000 or email@example.com.