Why Are There So Few Females in the Aeronautics Field?

While at the airport, have you ever wondered why the only females you see are typically flight attendants or the women behind the check-in desk? It seems as though females are outnumbered by males in the field of aeronautics, but why? Here at Sheffield, we go back into the history and take a closer look at this phenomenon.


It is all too surreal when upon boarding your airplane, the people checking you in to your flight and the flight attendants are typically females. How many times has the pilot on your flight been a female pilot? Woman today only make up about 5 percent of the 53,000 members of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represent the pilots at the major and regional carriers in the United States and Canada [1].

Believe it or not, an even more bizarre statistic is that if you want to run into a female pilot who has gone through aeronautics school and is certified, you’d have to meet 5,623 women before you’d meet said female pilot [2].

The good news is: there is an increase of 3,000 female pilots per decade since 1970, and there is an estimated projection for this number to rise [3].

Being a Female Pilot

Reading those statistics are scary, and understanding the premise of being a female pilot can be stressful. The cost expenses to go to airline dispatcher school or an aeronautics school is the same for both men and women – there is no difference when it come to the facts. Both the men and women have to log the same number of flying hours to be a certified pilot, both have to go through the same rigorous testing at aeronautics schools, and both have to learn the ins and outs of an aircraft.

However, when it comes to maternity leave and breastfeeding, not many options are left open for women. The work-life balance is nearly impossible for women without having a caregiver or family and friends to raise and care for their child while they fly. In fact, the majority of female pilots got into their position because they were raised and brought up into it by a family member in the profession.

Outlook Towards the Future

Although there may be only 26 percent of female air traffic controllers and 18 percent of female flight dispatchers [4], here at Sheffield Schools of Aeronautics we accept and encourage women to join or programs and follow their dreams of having a career in aeronautics.

Sheffield is an aeronautics school that strives for the future, and we have the same hopes and dreams for all men and women. If you have any questions regarding our aircraft dispatcher programs or have what it takes to become an aircraft dispatcher, you can always contact us! We want your dreams to soar!


  1. http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/03/18/female.airline.pilots/index.html
  2. https://www.womenofaviationweek.org/five-decades-of-women-pilots-in-the-united-states-how-did-we-do/
  3. https://www.womenofaviationweek.org/five-decades-of-women-pilots-in-the-united-states-how-did-we-do/


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