A special easyJet flight operated by an all-female crew took off from Gatwick to mark International Women’s Day.
The Madrid flight had a female captain, first officer and four cabin crew. Additionally, a large proportion of the ground staff at Gatwick responsible for boarding the plane and getting it off the ground were also female.
The flight was captained by Kate McWilliams, 27, the world’s youngest female commercial captain and co-piloted by first officer Sue Barrett.
Cabin manager Laura Marks was supported by three female cabin crew – Natasha Baker, Charlotte Carr and Nuria Belda Marco.
The flight was operated on easyJet’s special A320 aircraft named after female aviator Amy Johnson.
The activity was being promoted on easyJet’s social media sites using a female pilot emoji and #FlyingHigh.
McWilliams, said: “International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women so we thought this all female flight would be a very fitting way to celebrate the achievements of the many women working in the aviation industry.
“There are more than 15 women who are making this flight possible today in positions from pilots and crew to gate agents and fuelers.
“This year’s IWD theme is #BeBoldForChange to help forge a better working world which is more inclusive and gender equal. This year easyJet has set an ambitious target of increasing the proportion of its female pilots aiming for 20% of new intake pilots by 2020.
“The aviation industry is exciting and challenging and I firmly believe that there should be absolutely nothing to stop women from entering into a career in aviation.
“The first woman to fly an airplane solo took off in 1908, only five years after the Wright brothers first took to the skies and most people will have heard of Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson who are famous pioneers of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
“Women have been involved in aviation’s history from very early on but since the war years whilst the total number of female pilots has steadily increased so has the number of male pilots, leaving the total percentage of female pilots largely unchanged at around 3%.
“It is hard to think of another high profile profession where women are so under-represented so I would encourage anyone thinking about a career in aviation to do so – it’s the most rewarding career I could hope for.”
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