What image do you associate with a “pilot”? Most likely, 9 out 10 would imagine a typical white, male pilot in a uniform.
This image is so deeply engrained in our conscience that it has become an additional career barrier for aspiring female pilots. This barrier comes on top of the already very expensive pilot training, which is often cited as the largest obstacle on the way to the cockpit. Women pilots rarely say they have been informed about the pilot career as a potential option and sometimes even remember being discouraged in school to pursue it. This invisible barrier is one of the things that a wealth of initiatives worldwide are trying to change. One of the European drivers trying to shatter the male-dominance of aviation is Aviadoras.
Born a year ago, Aviadoras is a project kick-started by the Spanish Pilots Association SEPLA. In those 12 months, Aviadoras has grown from a local initiative to a leading example for all transport workers on how to attract more female talent and promote professions which were previously considered as a typical male domains.
The prime objective of the enthusiastic leaders of Aviadoras is to change the stereotypes and show new role models for girls and young women. This has been identified as the ultimate tool to increase the number of female pilots worldwide. Vanessa de Velasco, Aviadoras leader has also represented ECA at the EU Commission’s Platform for Change, encouraging women to consider careers in European transport.
Change will not happen overnight. But having such loud & inspiring voices is a promising start to achieving at least a double-digit percentage of female pilots in European cockpits soon.
Image: © Aviadoras Follow them on twitter @Aviadoras_AEP