Minister calls on aviation industry to address gender imbalance among pilots

The airline industry needs to address gender imbalance among pilots, according to the aviation minister.

Only 6% of airline pilots are women, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Baroness Sugg has written to the airline industry calling on them to pledge to overcome the gender gap, the department announced on Sunday.

She said: “For every 100 airline pilots, 94 are male.

“With a shortage of pilots in the future, the aviation industry needs to be making the best use of the talent in this country.”

Digital air traffic control tower at Cranfield Airport
Aviation minister Baroness Sugg has written to the airline industry urging them to pledge action on the gender gap, according to the Department for Transport (Joe Giddens/PA)

Last year airlines declared large disparities in wages paid to male and female employees across their entire businesses.

Ryanair reported the largest gender pay gap among airlines (71.8%), followed by Jet2.com (49.7%), TUI Airways (47.3%) and Thomas Cook Airlines (45.8%).

British Airways reported a gap of 10% and was the only airline to declare a figure below the national average of 18.4%.

According to the DfT some initiatives are already in place across the industry to try to address the imbalance, including Flybe’s FlyShe campaign to “raise awareness of gender stereotypes”.

EasyJet are on track to achieve their target of ensuring 20% of new pilot recruits are female by 2020, the statement adds, and London Stansted Airport is helping inspire girls into the industry through education programmes.

Baroness Sugg’s calls for industry action come ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.

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