EasyJet has offered to mentor the UK’s youngest licensed pilot.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Carter will be supported by the carrier as part of efforts to attract more women into the profession.
Carter became the youngest solo powered aircraft pilot in Britain in January.
She was also the youngest solo glider pilot, after completing two six-minute flights on her 14th birthday.
The airline is on track for the target to ensure 20% of all new trainee pilots are women by 2020, with 15% of entrants in 2017 being female.
EasyJet is encouraging young people to aim high and think beyond stereotypes by championing female pilots of the future.
New research by the airline revealed that 52% of young girls would consider a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and 27% would consider a career as a pilot.
The study found that despite a drive to break down gender barriers in employment, 51% children believe their career choices are restricted by traditional ideas of ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ jobs.
The figure is similar (66%) for their parents, showing the situation has barely changed in a generation.
Carter said: “I’ve been interested in the physics and powered flight from as young as I can remember. Flying absolutely amazes me and continues to surprise me and so I can see how rewarding a career as a pilot could be.
“I hope that my story will encourage young girls to accomplish whatever they set their mind to, because if I can do it, so can they.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support I’ve had from the public and ecstatic that easyJet have offered me this opportunity which will help me on my way to pursuing the career of my dreams – I can’t wait to get started.”
Training captain Zoe Ebrey, Ellie’s mentor, added: “It’s fantastic to meet such a passionate young commercial pilot in the making.
“Ellie’s drive, determination and achievements to date are impressive and I look forward to helping her more on her journey.”
Flight operations director David Morgan said: “We want our people to reflect the diversity of the customers we fly and the communities in which we operate and so encouraging more girls and women to take on this hugely rewarding career is an integral part of this.
“I’m really pleased that we are currently on track for our target of ensuring 20% of our new pilot entrants are women by 2020.”
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