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Aviation ‘must address gender gap’

Airlines need to pledge action to overcome the gender gap, according to aviation minister Liz Sugg.

She has written to the sector ahead of International Women’s Day.

Her call comes against a backdrop of women accounting for almost half (47%) of the national workforce, but only 6% of airline pilots are women.

Sugg 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.

“There are already some great industry initiatives, and ahead of International Women’s Day we are calling on the aviation industry to pledge action to address this gap.”

International Women’s Day this year is being marked on Friday, with the theme of #BalanceforBetter, to drive gender balance across the world.

Sugg helped launch a Women in Aviation charter last summer,  which commits to build a more balanced and fair industry for women.

EasyJet is on track to achieve its target of ensuring 20% of its new pilot entrants are female by 2020.

Flybe’s ‘FlyShe’ campaign raises awareness of gender stereotypes

Stansted is a signatory to the government charter and has a number of education programmes including its Aerozone centre which have helped inspire thousands of young girls in the last three years.

The airport’s HR director Liz Austin said: “Encouraging more girls into aviation-related careers is something London Stansted fully supports, and we welcome the government’s drive to increase the number of women in these roles.

“Stansted Airport College was created to build pipeline of future talent, and works hard to promote the many exciting opportunities open to girls in aviation, from engineering to cabin crew.

“Along with our Aerozone education centre for younger children, we’re proud of the part London Stansted is playing in inspiring the next generation of the aviation workforce and look forward to seeing an increase in the representation of women in all sectors.”

tw4

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