5 Facts that Show how Women Pilots in India are Flying in the Face of Gender Biases


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The best part of this century is that, even when force comes crashing from the opposite direction, women are fighting against it sans fear. They are carving their due niche in every walk of life. Not just on the ground, but in the air too.

With the clarion call of gender equality at its height in India, good news comes knocking at the doorstep. Except, this step is up in the air. More number of women are flying in the clouds. Quite literally.

In fact, would you believe it if we told you that it is more likely that your pilot is a woman in India than anywhere else in the world?  

Here are a few facts that corroborate this statement and fly in the face of the extreme gender prejudices associated with India –

1. Out of the 5,100 pilots employed in India, 600 (11.7 %) are women, according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation data.

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Sarla Thakral, the first Indian woman to get an aviation pilot licence and fly an aircraft.  Read more

Credit – Vivchavan / Wikipedia

“This is definitely one trend which flies in the face of the global opinion of India as a regressive place for women.”

– Harpreet Singh Dey, President of the Indian Women Pilots’ Association said to the Economic Times.

2. In 2014, 170 pilot licences of a total of 1,100 were issued to women in India. This marked a 5% increase from the previous year.

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Credit – Pinterest

3. SpiceJet boasts of 15% of its total pilot population being female.

"SpiceJet Boeing 737-900ER Vyas-1" by Nisarg Vyas

“SpiceJet Boeing 737-900ER Vyas-1” by Nisarg Vyas

Credit – Wikipedia

“Parents are also likely more supportive, employers are more gender neutral.”

– Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, SpiceJet was quoted in The Economic Times

4. Jet Airways witnessed an increase from 12.5% of total pilot population being women two years ago to a current standing of 14%.

"JetAirways - Sunrise" by Nikolaos Oikonomou - Own work.

“JetAirways – Sunrise” by Nikolaos Oikonomou – Own work.

Credit – Wikipedia

5. Whereas, Indigo claims 11% of its total pilot population to be women. Additionally, 44% of its total workforce is also women.

"IndiGo Airbus A320-232; VT-IES@SIN;02.08.2012 668ey (7917210650)" by Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland -

“IndiGo Airbus A320-232; [email protected];02.08.2012 668ey (7917210650)” by Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland –

Credit – Wikipedia

According to Harpreet Singh Dey’s statement, women are now granted more opportunities from their families and some wish to remain unmarried in order to pursue their passion. This is a point which must be placed in high regard, given the societal orthodoxy cultivated in India where the cases of marriage and women are concerned.

With hundreds of Amelia Earhart(s) flying about, gender equality is sure to stand and take notice.

Inputs from: The Economic Times

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