A new study highlights gender gaps not only in the pilot population but throughout the aviation workforce, with women accounting for less than 10 percent in key roles. Women in Aviation International (WAI) released the study, a first of its kind, conducted with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Aviation Institute with a NASA Nebraska Space Grant.
The study, which drew 1,323 respondents from a variety of occupations, found women account for 3 percent of the CEOs in the world’s top 100 airline groups, 2.4 percent of the FAA-certified maintenance technicians, and 5 percent of airline pilots. Only 1 percent of airline pilots are female captains. On the positive side, though, the number of female pilots has increased slightly over the past decade to 7.3 percent.
An underlying purpose of the survey was to identify what can bring women into the field, Becky Lutte, an associate professor for the University of Nebraska Aviation Institute, said, discussing the findings in WAI’s Aviation for Women magazine. A passion for aviation was the top influencing factor cited, followed by perception as an adventurous profession, perception as a fun profession, desire to prove personal abilities, and desire for challenge career. Negative factors were costs, “good ole boy” perception, and family life impact.
Lutte is detailing the findings this afternoon during a session at Women In Aviation International’s 2020 conference.