EasyJet pilots challenge ‘outdated’ gender stereotypes in school visits

EasyJet pilots are visiting schools nationwide to provide visible role models and encourage more children to consider a career in aviation.

The bid to challenge outdated stereotypes about air crew came new research by the budget airline revealed that more than half (52%) of primary school children believe that a pilot is a job for a man.

When asked why they believed that pilot is a role for men, the top reason given by children was that they had never seen a female pilot (41%). 

More than half (59%) of parents surveyed still believe there are misconceptions that a pilot is a job for a man.

Of the young girls surveyed, 47% said they believe a pilot is a job for a man, showing that not much has changed in a generation, according to the carrier.

The study covered 2,000 children aged six to 11 years old and their parents.

The poll found that 47% of children have already formed an opinion on the careers available to them by the age of 11, according to parents.

The results came ahead of the airline launching its 2024 pilot training programme.

The airline said 7.5% of its pilots in the UK are women, compared to the UK industry average of 4.7%, with around 300 women including 99 captains now flying for the airline.

The carrier pledged to continue its efforts to see these numbers  grow further.

Easyjet captain Rebecca Epton, who visited a school in St Albans, said: “This research clearly shows children are still forming opinions on the jobs available to them at a very young age, with views still reflecting outdated gender stereotypes.

“With over two fifths of children still never having seen a female pilot, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet the children from St Alban and St Stephen Primary School and ensure we’re inspiring all children to reach their full potential.

“This is something EasyJet has been focused on for a number of years, with our pilots visiting hundreds of schools and colleges across the country to challenge these stereotypes at school age, and is something we’ll continue to do alongside other action, to ensure we are driving increased diversity within the profession for the long term.”

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