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Female Pilots – Which Country Has the Most Women Pilots?

female pilots
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The aviation industry is known for its exhilarating and fulfilling career opportunities, yet it remains predominantly male-dominated. The International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA+21) reports that a mere 5% of airline pilots globally are women. Nevertheless, there are countries that stand out for their higher representation of female pilots, and certain airlines are actively working to enhance the visibility and participation of women in the cockpit. We have also shared some information of female fighter pilot.

finally, In this lifestyles blog, we will delve into the topic of female pilots and explore the country that boasts the highest number of women in this profession, drawing upon the latest available statistics. Additionally, we will delve into the historical significance and noteworthy achievements of pioneering female pilots who have left an indelible mark in aviation history. Furthermore, we will shed light on the current challenges and opportunities that women encounter in the aviation industry. 

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Who was the First Female Pilot?

The first woman to receive a pilot’s license was Raymonde de Laroche, a former Parisian stage actress who became fascinated by aviation after watching a demonstration by Wilbur Wright in 1908. Moreover, She convinced her friend Charles Voisin, an aircraft manufacturer, to teach her how to fly. On March 8, 1910, she became the first woman to receive a pilot’s license from the Aero-Club de France. Raymonde de Laroche went on to set several records and win awards for her flying skills, but she also faced discrimination and prejudice from male pilots and officials. She volunteered to fly for the French military during World War I but was refused because of her gender. She died in 1919 in a plane crash during an air show.

female pilots
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS HELLIER/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Who was the First Female Fighter Pilot?

female pilots
Marie Marvingt. Photographie prise lors des fêtes de l’aviation de Nancy-Jarville les 7 et 8 avril 1912, coll. privée, DR.

Marie Marvingt, a remarkable French athlete, female fighter pilot, adventurer, nurse, journalist, inventor, and humanitarian, made history as the first woman to fly a fighter plane in combat. In 1910, she obtained her pilot’s license and developed a keen interest in military aviation. Despite being initially rejected by the French Air Force during World War I due to her gender, she persisted and convinced a military commander to allow her to fly a bombing mission over Germany in 1915. Borrowing an aircraft and uniform, she successfully completed the mission, becoming a trailblazer as the first woman to fly a fighter plane in combat as a female fighter pilot. AlsoHer exceptional courage and service earned her numerous medals and honors, rightfully recognizing her bravery.

Why do Indian Women Pilots Top the List?

According to ISA+21, India has the highest percentage of female pilots in the world, with 12.4% of Indian pilots being women as of 2021. Moreover, this is more than double the global average of 5%. One of the reasons for this is that India has several airlines that have actively recruited and trained pilots, such as IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India. These airlines have also supported initiatives such as Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW), which aims to inspire more girls and women to pursue careers in aviation.

Another reason is that India has a strong tradition of women pioneers in aviation, such as Sarla Thakral, who became the first Indian woman to earn a pilot’s license in 1936 at the age of 21; Prem Mathur, who became the first Indian woman commercial pilot in 1947; and Durba Banerjee, who became the first Indian woman pilot of a national airline in 1956. Furthermore, These women have inspired and paved the way for generations of female pilots in India.

female pilots

10 Countries with the Highest Number of Female Pilots

Here is a table showing the top 10 countries with the highest number of female pilots in the world, based on ISA+21 data:

Indian

12.4%

France

8.9%

USA

6.4

Canada

6.4

Germany

6.3

HTML Table Generator
Country Number of Female Pilots Percentage of Female Pilots
USA  8,206
6.4% 
 China  1,256 5.4% 
 India 1,092   12.4%
Canada  1,009  6.4% 
UK   867 4.7% 
Germany   797 6.3% 
France  732   8.9%
Brazil   494 3.9% 
Japan   391 5.6% 
 Australia  332 5.1% 
 New Zealand  116 4.5% 

Airlines with the Most Female Pilots

According to ISA+21, United Airlines holds the distinction of having the highest number of female pilots globally. As of 2021, United Airlines employed 1,108 women pilots, constituting 7.4% of their total pilot workforce. This remarkable figure reflects United Airlines’ commitment to gender diversity and inclusivity in the aviation industry. It comes as no surprise that United Airlines has also garnered recognition as one of the top airlines for women to work for, as acknowledged by Women in Aviation International (WAI). WAI, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women in aviation, has applauded United Airlines’ efforts and their partnership in offering scholarships, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities specifically tailored to support female pilots and aspiring aviators.

In addition to United Airlines, several other airlines boast a substantial number of female pilots within their ranks. Delta Air Lines, for instance, employs 803 women pilots, accounting for 6.2% of their total pilot workforce. Similarly, American Airlines boasts 777 women pilots, representing 5.2% of their pilot workforce. Even more, Lufthansa, a renowned European airline, employs 613 women pilots, constituting 6.9% of their pilot workforce.

Also, It is worth noting that some airlines stand out for their impressive percentage of female pilots. Additionally, Air France leads the pack with 8.9% of their pilots being women. Similarly, The popular low-cost carrier easyJet follows closely behind with 8.8% female pilots. KLM, a prominent Dutch airline, also demonstrates a commendable representation of women in aviation, with 8.7% of their pilots being female.

Even more, these statistics highlight the progress made in increasing the presence of female pilots in the aviation industry. Airlines such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, easyJet, and KLM serve as exemplars of promoting gender equality and providing opportunities for women to thrive in the world of aviation.

female pilots

Important

The world of aviation is witnessing a remarkable transformation, with increasing numbers of female pilots taking to the skies and breaking barriers. From the first female pilots to the pioneers in combat aviation, their stories inspire and empower future generations of women in aviation. As countries strive for gender equality in the cockpit, the aviation industry continues to evolve, embracing the talents and contributions of female pilots. Together, we celebrate their achievements and look forward to a future where diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles in aviation.

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