By Piyalee Chatterjee Ghosh
Aviation is perceived as a male dominated sector in India. While globally this might be true, in India the scenario is encouraging. It is interesting to note that India has the highest percentage of female commercial pilots compared to other markets as per the International Society of Women Airline Pilots estimates. While female pilots and flight attendants are not rare, there needs to be more awareness about women pursuing a variety of career paths aviation has to offer. Roles like Air Traffic Controller, Aeronautical Engineer, Aircraft and Avionics Mechanic, Ground Staff are just a few from the myriad choices that exist. India is proving to be a thriving industry attracting female talent, with great scope to accommodate more women.
Reasons for increase in female talent
Accessible, quality education and training opportunities
In the past, a huge gap existed due to lack of training and quality of education . Aviation seemed inaccessible and its education was non-existent. However, today we have quality skill centers which provide a variety of accessible learning opportunities. Increase of pan-India institutes and availability of e-learning modules have a huge contribution towards enticing more women into the sector. Being able to pursue a sector irrespective of the location is a huge plus for talent. Another reason can be the availability of highly specialised curriculums and programmes which create awareness of the wide variety of lesser known roles.
Our country has positive initiatives which work at equipping talent irrespective of gender. For example, Skill India mission trains people across a diverse variety of skills. The special focus on encouraging women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education has given quality female engineers and tech-led talent. Apart from education, workplace policies which provide safety and economic advantages have worked to retain and hire qualified female professionals. For example increased paid maternity leave, pick up and drop services, lack of gender pay gap emerge as great pro’s for pursuing careers in the sector.
Positive outlook of women towards their financial security and economic contribution
Today more and more women are entering the workforce and looking to find lucrative careers that match their skills and passion. Economic and financial independence has become a key priority for female talent. We have more educated and skilled women than ever before. Aviation with its low entry barrier and great pay benefits makes for a great professional career. The variety of jobs also make it easy for women from various educational backgrounds to seek specialised training.
Understanding the impact of more women in aviation economy
Meet talent shortage
The aviation sector’s talent demand is huge across various roles. We need more professionals to enter the sector. An increase in women seeking jobs in aviation will encourage a diverse and competent talent pool enhancing the overall efficiency of the pool.
Create a profitable and thriving ecosystem
Making room for professionals without gender bias promises healthy, profitable businesses. This will raise India’s position on the global aviation map as a gender balanced market. It will not only help individual players scale up but will also shape our aviation industry into a formidable global player.
Role Models For The Future
The future of our aviation industry is in safe hands with female role models across roles. This will increase the scope and lucrativeness of careers of famous and not-so famous jobs. Our younger generation will be inspired to explore the endless possibilities aviation has to offer, by following the path of trailblazers who paved the way.
The author of this article is founder, head of product, Myfledge Institute of Aviation and Hospitality. Views expressed are personal.