Richard Collins of Air Facts Journal has recently revisited the old question about why there are so many more male pilots than female pilots. In fact, Air Facts Journal has pointed out that male pilots, both in general aviation as well as in the commercial airline space, now outnumber females by a 94 to six margin (plus or minus a little).
We have covered this subject a few times in the past (see Teaching women to fly, What are the training barriers for female pilots? and Why aren’t there more female airline pilots?) with some commenters pointing out that airlines used to hire ex-military pilots while balancing marriage and childcare with pilot careers have kept female airline pilots in the secondary seat.
Meanwhile, Richard pointed out that he believes women are better pilots than men because they take fewer chances and treat airplanes less roughly. Moreover, he noted that the personality traits that tend to lead to accidents are mostly male but then again, there are so few female pilots that their influence on accident statistics is minimal.
Concerning why there are so few female pilots, Richard wrote that:
Could it be that females are not attracted in number because they take one look at male pilots and think, “Yuk, I don’t want to be like that.” It is my opinion that we males have created a fraternal bond in flying that largely excludes females.
He then asked what we can do to make females feel more welcome in aviation in general and already, the post has generated a number of interesting comments from readers – including one that pointed out that motorcycling was once an exclusively male activity but “now you go into a bike shop and half the customers are women.” That particular reader pointed out that it was the motorcycling culture itself that allowed this to happen plus women themselves also decided that “to h@ll with public opinion, I’m going to do it…”
Hence, what do you, especially any UK or Europe based readers think about women in aviation? Specifically, what if anything might be holding back women in UK or European aviation and more importantly, what can be done about it?