By Jennifer Cairns 09 Mar 2023 7 min read

SkyWest Airline's Captain, Adva Amir, shares her experience as a female within aviation

Meet Adva Amir, Captain at SkyWest Airlines and Top 100 Aerospace and Aviation Professionals to follow on LinkedIn. She speaks out about gender inequality and empowers women to either enter the industry or excel in the industry.

In light of International Women's Day, we decided to get her take on being a woman in aviation...

 

Being a woman pilot in a male-dominated world is like being a unicorn in a field of horses. It's rare, it's unique, and it makes some people do a double-take. But, like a unicorn, female pilots are just as magical and capable as their male counterparts.

It's always fun to see people's reactions when they realize that the woman in the cockpit is actually the captain. And let's not forget the classic "Are you the flight attendant?" question. It's like, no Ma'am, I'm actually the person flying this plane, but I can also serve you a soda if you're nice.

As the aviation industry continues to evolve, more women are pursuing careers as pilots, breaking down barriers and defying gender stereotypes. However, despite the progress, women in aviation still face old perceptions that set them back, making it important to encourage and support female pilots.

My dream was to become a pilot in the Israeli Air Force, but it didn't work out for me. Still, I was determined to pursue my dream, so I flew to the United States, leaving everything behind, and started my training from scratch. Today, I'm proud to say I'm an airline Captain flying for a regional airline.

A lot of people are surprised to hear that there are still those who hold onto old perceptions that women cannot be pilots, despite the progress that has been made in the aviation industry in terms of gender diversity. While it may be disheartening to hear such comments, it is important to remember that it is not anyone's fault, and changing deep-seated attitudes takes time and effort. Rather than being discouraged by those kinds of comments, I use these experiences to inspire other women to pursue careers in aviation.

So, picture this: I'm sitting in the cockpit, ready to push back from the gate. Suddenly, I hear a voice through the headset: "hello sir!" Wait, what?! Did the ramp crew just assume my gender without even seeing me or hearing me? As a female pilot, I can't help but find this kind of hilarious.

Or the one time I was standing at the door of the flight deck saying goodbye to the passengers as they exited the plane. That's when I noticed one passenger – a woman who was making a beeline for the cockpit.

Before I could even say anything, she barged past me and shouted into the flight deck: "Good job pilot, great landing!" completely ignoring my existence.

Little did she know, my co-pilot was outside checking the plane, and I was the one behind the stick on this flight.

But all jokes aside, it's a good reminder that gender assumptions still exist in the aviation industry. And while it's important to address these issues and promote equality, I'm also happy to shake things up a bit and challenge people's expectations.

The truth is, gender should never be a factor when it comes to pursuing one's dreams, and this is especially true in the aviation industry. Flying a plane requires skill, knowledge, and a passion for aviation, qualities that have nothing to do with gender. However, the industry remains male-dominated, with only around 6% of pilots being women.

The aviation industry may be dominated by men, but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way. We need to break down the stereotypes that hold women back and show the world that flying a plane is a job for anyone with the passion and skill to do it.

And let's not forget about the power of mentorship! We need more female pilots to step up and show young girls that the sky's the limit. Think of it like Top Gun, but instead of Tom Cruise, it's a badass group of women showing young girls that they too can be mavericks in the sky. With the right guidance and support.
 

Join the aviation industry today. 

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