easyJet Launches Innovative Summer Flight School to Challenge Gender Stereotypes and Inspire Future Aviators

easyJet Launches Innovative Summer Flight School to Challenge Gender Stereotypes and Inspire Future Aviators

  • easyJet’s Summer Flight School will offer free Pilot and Cabin Crew training experiences for kids ages 7 – 12 this summer holiday to inspire more kids to get into aviation
  • The initiative is part of the airline’s work to drive greater diversity in the industry by challenging outdated gendered stereotypes of jobs like pilots and cabin crew
  • New research by the airline has shown that 86% of parents believe gender stereotypes begin at primary school age and around four in ten (37%) children still believe being a pilot is a job exclusively for men
  • Summer Flight School will take off on the 21st August with free places available to book from Monday 7th August

London, UK, 2023-Aug-09 — /Travel PR News/ — Airline easyJet has announced it is launching a new Summer Flight School, to combat persistent gendered stereotypes of pilot and cabin crew jobs and inspire more young people to consider a career in aviation.

As new research by the airline reveals around four in ten children (37%) still believe that a pilot is a job exclusively for men, easyJet is inviting children aged 7 – 12 to go behind the scenes at its training centre for hands on training experiences with real easyJet pilots and crew, to challenge these outdated stereotypes.

The first-of-its-kind event by the airline will offer children the opportunity to take the controls of an Airbus A320 flight simulator, learn what it takes to provide the best inflight service to passengers and find out from easyJet pilots and cabin crew about their jobs and how they got there.

easyJet has launched the initiative after a poll of 2,000 British parents and their children found that two thirds (66%) of British parents still believe there are misconceptions that being a pilot is a job for men rather than women and that most parents (86%) believe that gender stereotypes of jobs start at primary school age.

Around three quarters (72%) of female adult respondents said that when they were a child, they believed only men could be pilots, while nearly two thirds of men (63%) said they never considered a role as cabin crew due to their gender.

Now, over two thirds (68%) of girls surveyed said that they believed both boys and girls could be a pilot, indicating a positive shift in attitudes compared to the previous generation.

However, with over a quarter of boys (28%) still believing that cabin crew is exclusively a job for women and the same proportion of girls believing being a pilot a job for just boys, there is still clearly work to be done to course correct these perceptions.

Summer Flight School is the latest initiative from easyJet as part of the airline’s ongoing work to drive greater diversity within areas in the industry that still face a significant gender imbalance, particularly for pilots and cabin crew.

With still around only 6% of pilots worldwide being women, easyJet has been focused on tackling this industry-wide gender imbalance for a number of years and has nearly tripled the number of female pilots in its ranks since 2015.

Over half of children (51%) said they never seen a female pilot and so alongside recruitment campaigns to attract more women and people from diverse backgrounds to the career, the airline’s Pilot School Visits programme has seen female and male pilots presenting to hundreds of schools up and down the country, to show it’s a job for everyone.

By providing a unique and immersive free experience blending fun, education and hands-on activities, the airline hopes its Summer Flight School will not only inspire a new generation of aviators, but also help the 87% of parents who said they struggle find low cost or free experiences for children during the holidays.

Over 92% parents believe ‘edutainment’ – activities that provide the opportunity for their kids to learn something new as well as being fun – is important when it comes to planning a family day out, with over half (54%) specifically wanting something that would spark a new interest for their children.

The majority of primary school aged children agreed that the chance fly a plane was the most exciting thing they could experience during the summer holidays (70%) whilst half (50%) admitted being a pilot or cabin crew when they were older would be a dream job.

Jane Storm, Chief People Officer for easyJet commented:

“We’re delighted to be taking families behind the scenes with our new Summer Flight School, not only to offer a unique and exciting day out during the school holidays, but also one we hope will inspire the next generation of pilots and cabin crew, showing young people that their aspirations don’t have to be limited by outdated stereotypes and help broaden their horizons.

“Increasing diversity in all of its forms across our airline and creating an inclusive environment where people can be themselves at work is incredibly important to us and is a long-term focus for easyJet, so we will continue to lead the industry on this issue.”

easyJet Training Captain Kate West said:

“At school I was told that being a pilot wasn’t a suitable career option for me, so I know from first-hand experience how important it is to challenge these misconceptions, which we know can start from a young age.  Role models and awareness of our jobs as pilots and crew are such an important part of this and so I’m delighted that our Summer School will give children that opportunity this summer – even their first taste of flying an aircraft!”

easyJet’s Summer Flight School takes off from 21st August at easyJet’s London Gatwick training centre. Places are available to book for free from Monday 7th August at https://easyjet.eventbrite.com.

About easyJet

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe’s primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.

easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline and carried more than 69 million passengers in 2022 – with 9.5 million travelling for business. The airline has over 300 aircraft on nearly 1000 routes to more than 150 airports across 35 countries. Over 300 million Europeans live within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport.

easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people on local contracts in eight countries across Europe in full compliance with national laws and recognising their trade unions. The airline supports several local charities and has a corporate partnership with UNICEF which has raised over £16m for the most vulnerable children since it was established in 2012.

The airline joined the UN-backed Race to Zero in November 2021 and has published its roadmap to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with a focus on new technology and the ultimate ambition to achieve zero carbon emission flying across its entire fleet, which the airline is working on together with its partners including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions. The roadmap also features a combination of fleet renewal, operational efficiencies, airspace modernisation, Sustainable Aviation Fuel and carbon removal technology. Additionally, it includes an interim carbon emissions intensity reduction target of 35% by 2035 (versus 2019). Since 2000, the airline has already reduced its carbon emissions per passenger, per kilometre by one-third through continued fleet renewal, efficient operations and aiming to fill most of its seats.

Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – since launching over 25 years ago, easyJet changed the way people fly to the present day where the airline leads the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for its passengers.

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Source: easyJet