The recent International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on Thursday 8th March, saw many an Aviation Recruiter and employer contemplate the remarkable role that female talent has long played in this crucial sector. However, few of them could have hoped to top how British Airways marked the occasion. |
The airline operated the UK’s biggest-ever all-female flight on Monday 5th March, involving 61 women including baggage handlers, flight managers, pilots, cabin crew, loaders and push back teams, security, check-in and airport teams.
“Incredibly proud” of landmark occasion
Among those to reflect warmly on what the flight represented for the aviation industry was British Airways Captain Julie Levy, who commented: “I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of the team on our all-female flight.
“As a mum of two teenage daughters, I think it’s crucial that we grab every opportunity we can to inspire the next generation. There wasn’t any visibility of female pilots when I was growing up, so I think events like this are important to help show the range of different careers that are available to women.”
A significant date in aviation history
8th March is a date of particular importance for women in aviation, given that it is also the anniversary of the first woman to receive a pilot’s licence. It has now been 108 years since Elise Raymonde Deroche’s milestone achievement, and for British Airways’ female-operated flight, there were no fewer than three female pilots in the cockpit.
BA also sought to inspire a new generation of women to consider aviation careers by inviting seven 16 to 18-year-old women who had previously done work experience with the airline to be passengers on the flight.
According to BA ramp manager Joanne Kershaw, many aviation roles were still regarded as being “just for men”. She added: “I loved being part of a team of women at the top of their game, working all together for the first time on one flight”.
Nor was BA the sole airline to mark IWD in this way, with all-female crews also being used for easyJet and Virgin Atlantic flights on the day.
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