Women have been an integral part of our aviation industry. The industry is by large still dominated by men, but women are claiming their space and carving their niche in the world of air travel. When we talk about women in aviation, usually the first name that comes to our mind is Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. We mostly forget other equally important female aviators who have significantly contributed to the aviation industry. We don’t remember women like Katherine Wright, sister of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who often sat with her brothers during their exhibition flights, becoming the first female to fly in an airplane. Today at iJET we celebrate such contributions of women pioneers of aviation.
“Flying is the best possible thing for women.”
Baroness Raymonde de Laroche was a Frenchwoman, who in the year 1910 became the first woman to obtain a pilot‘s license.
This huge step caved a way out for women all over the world to follow her and reach for the skies.
“And then, one day, it flew.”
As discussed above Katharine Wright played a crucial role in Wright brother’s flight of success. Katherine not only provided moral but also financial support to brothers. It was her brother Wilbur who had once said, “If ever the world thinks of us in connection with aviation, it must remember our sister.” But the world often neglects the crucial role she played in pioneering her brother’s success. She, in fact, was awarded the Légion d’Honneur along with her brothers for their contribution to the world of aviation.
“The air is the only place free from prejudice.”
When of racial and gender discrimination was at its worst in America, Bessie Coleman, dared to become the first person (male or female) of African-American descent, and the first of Native American descent to hold a pilot license in the USA.
“The most effective way to do it is to do it.”
Amelia Earhart is the first name we usually take when talking about women in aviation. Indeed, her achievements have been monumental for women all over the world. She was the first woman to fly solo above 14,000 feet in 1922, across the Atlantic Ocean. She has a number of medal and achievements to her name, one of them is receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross (the first woman to do so).
“This Is Your Captain Speaking…”
In today’s world only 3% of commercial airline pilots in the world are women. Until 1970s there was none. We still have a long way to go. It was Emily Howell Warner who in 1973 became the first female commercial pilot when she got hired by Frontier Airlines. She also, was the first female pilot to become a captain for a commercial airline.
“Nobody was going to tell me I couldn’t do it because I was a woman.”
In 1964, Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock, created history by becoming the first woman to fly solo around the world. Mock took 29 days to complete her historic flight in which she covered almost 22,860 miles. She used a single-engine Cessna 180 which was named the “Spirit of Columbus”. Mock also became the first female to fly across the Pacific and Atlantic.
Other important note-worthy women in aviation include-
These and countless other women have contributed to open spaces and make a place for us in the aviation industry. We now have access to schools, trainings, and jobs which were near to impossible for these pioneering women. We think the US or UK might be leading in training female pilots, but it is India that is leading in training professional women pilots. The rest of the countries should definitely follow its lead. And not only as pilots in every field of aviation industry let’s try to give more chance to women to reach the skies.
iJET salutes to all the women in in aviation, whether they are female pilots, operations, admins and employees in the aviation sector. We celebrate our amazing teammates at iJET and women all over the world, for their contribution, passion, and impact. Happy international women’s Day!