Gender Shift In Aviation?

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The number of women pilots has increased since 2000 by 18.6 percent and the number of those with ATP certificates is up 35 percent while the number of male pilots has dropped, according to statistics updated Monday by the FAA. There were an estimated 42,218 female certificate holders in 2010, which puts the group at 6.7 percent of the total 627,588 certificated pilots recorded by the FAA. Among the ranks of Airline Transport Pilot rated and commercial certificate holders, women jumped from 10,218 in 2000 to 13,755 in 2010. Over the same period, the number of men holding certificates dropped nearly 1 percent and the number of men holding ATP ratings dropped about 1/2 percent. The numbers also show that the advance of women in aviation goes beyond the flight deck.

The first decade of 2000 also saw increased numbers of women in aviation-related fields like ground instruction, where their numbers rose more than 14 percent. For female dispatchers, the number rose 71 percent and the number of female flight instructors rose more than 6.5 percent. The number of aviation mechanics who are women also went up -- by 43 percent from 2000 to 2010 -- and the number of repair workers who are women increased more than 35 percent. However, if one imagines the end result as equal numbers of both men and women in aviation related jobs, then there is still a long way to go. The number of women in these fields still composes single-digit percentages of the total number of workers represented. For the complete collection of data, click through to the FAA's US Civil Airmen Statistics page.