Women have been involved in aviation from the beginnings of both lighter-than air travel and as airplanes, helicopters and space travel were developed. Women pilots were also called “aviatrices” (singular: “aviatrix”). Women have been flying powered aircraft since 1908, however most, prior to 1970, were restricted to working privately or in support roles in the aviation industry. Aviation also allowed women to “travel alone on unprecedented journeys.” Women who have been successful in various aviation fields have served as mentors to younger women, helping them along in their careers.

Today women’s participation in the aviation sector is still low but growing. Overall, in 2008, there were only 16 of women working in the manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft. Women who work as aerospace engineers made up only 25th in the field in 2014. Women make up less than 6 of senior executive level positions in airline companies, as of 2015.

For women pilots, the idea of being in a man’s world isn’t all that difficult to bear. Women in the aviation field today aren’t complaining because they don’t have equal rights. They aren’t necessarily being treated unequally or facing a large amount of resistance. The truth is, women in aviation don’t really have it any more difficult than men do. It’s just that there are so few of them, and these women are working to get the word out to younger women that there are opportunities in aviation for women.

If you’re a woman in aviation, hopefully you’ve taken advantage of one or more of aviation conference and events. If you’re a man in the aviation industry, take a moment to inspire or encourage a young woman to follow her dreams.

Because we all know that there are just not enough women in this industry today. 

Event Start Date

25 -26 October 2018

“The Role of Women in Transport and their contribution in facilitating free trade in the SADC Region towards the 4th Industrial Revolution”