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easyJet publishes pilot research findings showing significant differences in male and female experiences when choosing a pilot career

An easyJet survey* has revealed that the desire to become a pilot happens much later for girls than it does for boys

Over half of male pilots knew they wanted to be a pilot by the age of 10 whereas almost half of female pilots did not consider the job until they were over 16.

The research is informing easyJet’s recruitment plan to target more potential female pilots as part of the airline’s target for 20% of its new entrant pilots to be female by 2020

easyJet publishes pilot research findings showing significant differences in male and female experiences when choosing a pilot career featured image
01 / 03 / 2018

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline has today published results from a pilot survey which has revealed that that the desire to become a pilot happens much later for girls than it does for boys.  

Over half of male pilots (55%) knew they wanted to be a pilot by the age of 10, whereas almost half (44%) of female pilots were over 16 before they considered the career. In fact, over one fifth (22%) of male pilots knew they wanted to be a pilot by the age of five.

The research was conducted with 556 pilots, including 59 female pilots, of a variety of ages and experiences as part of easyJet’s Amy Johnson Flying Initiative. The findings are informing the airline’s outreach work as part of the initiative to encourage more women to become pilots.  

The research also revealed:

  • Visible role models who featured in childhood, like family members or pilots they met when travelling on holiday, were vital to inspiring young people to consider the career.
  • Both female and male pilots surveyed agreed that the most effective outreach efforts would be to work with school teachers and youth and community leaders to spread awareness of the career.


Feedback from some female pilots showed that they had been discouraged specifically based on their gender, suggesting that a pilot continues to be seen by many as a male job.

easyJet has already made significant progress in broadening the visibility of pilots outside of airports and since the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative was launched in 2015 easyJet pilots both female and male have visited 140 schools and colleges to raise the profile of the job.

Today easyJet has also announced a new partnership with Girlguiding with the airline sponsoring the new Aviation badge for Brownies. 200,000 girls aged seven to 10 will have the opportunity to complete the badge which will engage girls in aviation, build a foundation for future study and raise awareness of the opportunities to become a pilot. It is expected that tens of thousands of girls will undertake this badge in its first year.


David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations at easyJet commented: 

“At easyJet we value diversity and having a workforce that reflects our customer base.  Our Amy Johnson Flying Initiative is about inspiring a new generation of female pilots and the findings from this research will us help us to identify what more we can do to as part of our initiative to change perceptions about the role and encourage even more women to pursue this rewarding career, available to anyone with the right skills and attitude.”


easyJet Captain Marnie Munns, lead pilot for the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative commented:

“As part of our Amy Johnson Initiative, we have always believed in the importance of role models, which is why we are doing even more, such as partnering with Girlguiding, to engage with groups of young people in schools and other organisations to inspire and educate them about careers in aviation.

“My grandfather was a pilot and my parents were incredibly support of my career choices, it is thanks to the roles models I had that I am where I am today.”


Brownie Emma, 9 said: “I’m so excited for the new Aviation badge and to learn more about flying and being a pilot. It’s really great that we get to find out about exciting jobs we could do in the future.”


easyJet’s Amy Johnson Flying Initiative continues to deliver results; the airline recently announced that female new entrant co-pilot numbers were up by 48% on the numbers joining in 2016. This takes the proportion of easyJet new entrant female pilots to 13% at a time when newly published research by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots found that just over 4% of the world’s airline pilots are female.

The current proportion of female pilots also affects easyJet’s gender pay gap, which it has published for the third year running. easyJet has done this voluntarily since 2015 and is now reporting under the new UK gender pay gap requirements.

The overall gender pay gap figure at easyJet is over 50%, but this gives a false impression as this is driven not by unequal pay for women at easyJet but by the massive gender imbalance in the pilot community at easyJet and across the commercial aviation industry, which, through the Amy Johnson Initiative, the airline is committed to redressing.




For further information, please contact the easyJet press office on 01582 525252 or log on to easyJet.com

For further information about the partnership with Girlguiding or the new Aviation Brownie badge, please contact the Girlguiding Press Office pressoffice@girlguiding.org.uk / 020 7592 1733

*Survey delivered for easyJet by Join the Dots


About easyJet

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe's primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.

easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline. easyJet carries over 81 million passengers annually, of which more than 13 million are travelling on business. easyJet flies over 280 aircraft on more than 890 routes to over 140 airports across 31 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport.

easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people on local contracts in seven countries across Europe in full compliance with national laws and recognising their trade unions. The airline supports a number of local charities and also has a corporate partnership with UNICEF which has raised over £10m for the most vulnerable children since it was established in 2012.

The airline takes sustainability seriously. easyJet invests in the latest technology, operates efficiently and fills most of its seats which means that an easyJet passenger's carbon footprint is 22% less than a passenger on a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.

Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – from our launch over 20 years ago when we changed the way people fly to the present day where we lead the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for our passengers.


About Join the Dots

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