By DebbieH 17 Feb 2020 6 min read

Occupational gender differences in the aviation industry


In January, we released our 2018-19 annual report, which brought about some interesting findings about…yes, you! 

The report was filled with insights relevant to the aviation industry about job seekers – for example, salary information, insights into your job search, category profiles and your interest in the roles available on our site. We also discussed challenges to the industry and how we as a jobs board will move forward in 2020 to make Aviation Job Search the best site possible for you!

One of the more interesting areas we collected data for was gender insights. We were curious to know which genders favoured which specific roles in 2019. So, using our data collected from Google Analytics, we’ll dive into our findings below:



Engineers: Male 76.46% : 23.54% Female

Males showed a wider interest in Engineer roles in 2019, with 76.46% browsing these jobs, as opposed to 23.54% of women. It has been well communicated across the industry that there must be more work to introduce women to engineering, and other aviation careers to help fill the potential shortage we could be seeing in the next few years, particularly in the UK. 

In the US alone, women make up only 14% of engineers, and only between 18% to 20% of engineering students are female. Furthermore, only 7.8% of aerospace engineers in the US are women. 

In the EU, women accounted for just over a quarter (27.7%) of engineering, manufacturing and construction tertiary graduates in 2016. 

In the UK, women make up just 13.3% of all engineers, out of 6.1m engineering jobs in the UK. The aviation and aerospace sectors are making a commitment to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry for women. In an industry still dominated by men, career satisfaction and rewarding salaries are helping women push for change

Attracting more female talent to the UK engineering sector – and retaining those people – is vital for economic growth and financial stability. Britain suffers from an acute shortage of engineers – 1.8 million new engineers and technicians are needed by 2025 – as well as a “leaky pipeline”, meaning women often fail to continue to progress their engineering careers.


Pilot 78.17% : 21.83% Female

Our figures showed that just 21.83% of users searching for pilot jobs were female – the outcome was expected and reflects the ratio of male to female pilots across the globe, currently. 

As the world struggles to bring talented pilots into the profession, organisations within the aviation industry are calling out for plans to get more women into the job. Numerous agencies cite the need to hire thousands of new pilots over the next two decades. In fact, some air carriers are already reducing or canceling flight schedules as a result of these pilot shortages.

At the moment just 5% of airline pilots are women, according to the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISWAP). That number will need to increase to meet the industry’s expected growth, says Robin Glover-Faure, president of L3 Commercial Training Solutions, one of the world’s biggest trainers of pilots. L3 trains pilots for more than 40 airlines, including British Airways and Qatar.

Mr Glover-Faure says that to meet the requirement for new pilots “we’re going to have to appeal to a more diverse group of people that have got the talent but come from backgrounds where maybe they haven’t considered being a pilot before”.


Cabin Crew Male 41.80% : 58.20% Female

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 79% of flight attendants in 2018 were female. In 2018, easyJet also reported that out of their entire cabin crew, 71% were female, while 29% were male. The figures presented in our 2019 gender report seem to have improved from the male counterpart perspective, however. In our 2018 annual report, it was a split of 35.72% male and 64.28% female, suggesting more males may have been encouraged towards the profession than in previous years. It’s not a huge jump, but there appears to be improvement.


Mechanic  Male 80.19% :  19.81% Female

Plane & Pilot magazine wrote a piece on Women in Aviation in 2017, stating that just 2% of women hold FAA certificates entitling them to maintain certified aircraft. It was suggested that the ratio of male to female mechanics was 50:1. Similar to Engineering roles, males were the most likely to browse for mechanic jobs on Aviation Job Search. The reasons could well be similar too. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, approximately 2.4% of airline mechanics in 2018 were women, out of 292,000 workers, according to the Women in Aviation: A Workforce Report, published in 2019. 


Technician Male 77.67% : 22.33% Female

Women in Aviation: A Workforce Report also shows that women make up to 3.6% of maintenance technicians in the US – that’s out of 164,000 employees. Continued outreach to underrepresented groups in all areas of aviation is essential for further developing the aviation workforce. Increasing the number of women in the field will help to meet the needs of the industry.


Office Male 59.78% : 40.22% Female

Males were more likely to be interested in office roles within the aviation industry, but the split wasn’t too big a difference. 


Customer Service Male 48.18% : 51.82% Female

Females were the majority when searching for Customer Service roles. This falls in line with overall industry reports in the UK, which suggest that 66.67% of people in Customer Service Occupations were female, according to Careersmart


Instructors and Trainers Male 72.02 : 27.98% Female

The Instructor and Trainer roles on Aviation Job Search mainly relate to pilot training, so the fact that males have the higher majority for this category would be expected, given that most trainers would be ex-pilots, and male being the majority for that category. 


Ground Crew Male 61.08% : 38.92% Female

Ground Crew jobs were most searched by males in 2019. However, in comparison to our 2018 annual report, this has altered. In 2018, our report showed a male to female split of 53.59% to 46.41%, a fairly even balance for staff involved in an array of duties, including ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers, checking in luggage, providing information, assisting disabled passengers, confirming reservations and selling tickets.  


Fitter Male 82.41% : 17.59%

The results for this search were expected to be a male majority, with the previous trends of the more manual, technical roles reflecting this. 


Would you like to see the whole gender report? Download our annual report now: