What is a cadet pilot

Only three percent of pilots in commercial aviation are female, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, and only 450 of them have achieved the rank of captain - meaning all female captains would fit on an Airbus A380.

In the current financial year, 6 percent of the newly hired pilots at easyJet were women up to the end of September. The proportion of female pilots within the entire pilot community was 5 percent. The airline currently employs 164 female pilots, 64 of whom are female captains - around 14 percent of the world's female captains.

In October 2015, easyJet launched the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative with the aim of doubling the number of female newcomers to pilots to 12 percent within two years.

The initiative was extremely successful with more than 600 applicants and therefore easyJet was able to achieve the goal of 12 percent within one year by employing 33 female pilots. These pilots are either already flying for easyJet or are taking part in training courses from the coming week.

Spurred on by this success, easyJet has now set itself the challenging goal of 20 percent of easyJet's newly hired cadet pilots in 2020 being female. Based on current recruitment plans, this would mean easyJet would be recruiting around 50 female pilots per year.

In cooperation with leading training providers for pilots, easyJet has an established and comprehensive cadet program that ensures that all cadet pilots, including the new easyJet pilots, are trained at the highest level.

The program also includes a rigorous selection process, theoretical training and first flight training, simulator training and training specifically for machines from the easyJet fleet from the Airbus A320 family. Upon joining easyJet, all new pilots are supported by the most experienced instructor-captains. In addition, they always fly alongside an easyJet captain with a significant number of flying hours. All easyJet pilots will continue to undergo regular flight controls and will continue to receive training throughout their careers, including leadership training for pilots who have sufficient experience to achieve the rank of captain.

In recognition of the recruitment milestone, easyJet's CEO Carolyn McCall named an aircraft after the renowned pilot Amy Johnson today. The machine will fly across the easyJet network to attract more attention to the initiative.

"I'm very excited to unveil this special aircraft today, named after one of the most famous female aviators in history," said easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall during the aircraft's christening ceremony. “More than 50 years ago, men dominated almost all professions, and over the past five decades there has been significant progress in almost every industry. Women work in professional fields such as law, medicine, education, finance and politics and are active in leading positions. However, the relationship with pilots has not changed and I can hardly think of any other renowned profession in which women are so underrepresented. We would like to understand this and do everything in our power to reduce this imbalance. The success of our Amy Johnson initiative gave us courage, as we started it in October 2015 and the results so far show that women are in demand for the profession of pilot. Now that we've achieved our first goal, we've set a new goal that by 2020, 20 percent of our new cadets will be female. This means that we will hire around 50 female pilots annually who will really help change the face of an entire industry. This is a long-term strategy that we hope will eventually lead to easyJet hiring, continuing to employ and training many more female pilots. "

"At easyJet we value diversity and we believe that having a workforce that better reflects our customers will help our future success," said Brian Tyrrell, easyJet's Head of Flight Operations. “A career as a pilot is interesting and enriching and we want more women to contribute their skills to this role. We have an excellent training department here at easyJet and offer the opportunity to become captain much faster than with many other airlines. I encourage anyone considering becoming a pilot to apply. This is a very good opportunity to work for Europe's leading airline and to fly our very modern aircraft fleet, which has the latest technology and excellent safety standards. "

easyJet captain Marnie Munns says about her role as a pilot: “I am proud of what easyJet is doing to bring this enriching career closer to girls and young women. Many of my colleagues and I introduce the opportunities a career as a pilot offers to a female audience in schools or youth organizations. Here we are building on the work easyJet has already done as a mentor for young women. We are continuing to work with easyJet's pilot instructors to encourage more women to apply for the easyJet cadet program, and this year we have six more women positions through the Amy Johnson Initiative. "

"I am delighted with the great progress easyJet has made in recruiting female pilots through the Amy Johnson Initiative and that it has set itself even higher goals for the years to come," said Aviation Secretary Lord Ahmad. “The government is working hard to increase the number of women employed in the transport sector. The aim is also to ensure that no obstacles are placed in the way of anyone who wants to live out their full potential in a particular job. "

"We want people to have the opportunity to pursue any career they want," says Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Women and Equal Opportunities. "We don't want them to be held back by the idea that there are 'jobs for girls' and 'jobs for boys'. Women are still severely underrepresented in the aviation industry and that is why this initiative is so important. We have made fantastic strides in this area over the past few years - we currently have the lowest official gender pay gap and will require employers to disclose their gender pay and bonus gaps starting this April. We need more companies that follow easyJet's example to tackle gender stereotypes and get more women excited about their careers. The benefits are huge when it comes to showing the talents of women - if we eliminate the work-related pay gap between the sexes, we could increase our annual gross domestic product by £ 150 billion in 2025. And this is an opportunity that neither the government nor companies can afford to ignore. "

"I welcome such an encouraging and positive initiative by the industry," says Voleta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport. “The achievement of easyJet's goal for the proportion of female pilots shows that with a great deal of commitment for the benefit of everyone, you can change things and ensure more equal opportunities in the transport sector. I urge stakeholders to proactively support similar initiatives and together with my team we plan to provide a platform to share such good practice at EU level. "

Diversity at easyJet
easyJet has worked hard to create an environment that enables women to pursue diverse careers within the company. The airline encourages and supports women as they develop professionally and tries to facilitate flexible working conditions for its employees, including part-time positions, home offices and job sharing.

Currently, approximately 35 percent of easyJet middle and senior management positions are held by women, 55 percent of easyJet senior management and 22 percent of easyJet plc's board of directors are women.

Source: PM easyJet

Tags: easyJet, women, pilots