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Orange Spirit - Diversity

A diverse workforce

We believe in having a diverse workforce which better reflects our customers; that’s why we are working to increase the number of new female pilots. A recent survey revealed that a fifth of females believe the only posts open to women on board an aircraft is Cabin Crew.

So, in October 2015  we launched the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, in partnership with the British Women Pilots’ Association.  Amy Johnson was a true pioneer and role model for female pilots. She had true spirit and in 1930, she was the first woman to fly solo to Australia. Through the “Amy Johnson Flying Initiative” we hope to see a new generation of female pilots being inspired to start a career in aviation.

Back in October 2015, women made up 6% of our new pilot intake and 5% of our total pilot community and the aim of our initiative was doubling the number of female new entrant pilots to 12% over two years.  The initiative was really successful with over 600 applicants and we were able to achieve the 12% target in year one.

In light of this achievement, a new target of 20% female new entrant cadet pilots by 2020 has been set.  This means that we will be recruiting around 50 pilots annually which will really start to change the face of the industry. This is a long term strategy, as we aim to recruit, retain and develop many more female pilots.

Offering loan underwriting of around £100,000 for six female, new entrant
pilots – our ‘Amy Johnson recruits’

Current pilots at easyJet have visited schools and youth organisations

Working with other organisations which encourage women to consider aviation careers

Meet some of our female pilots:

Captain Kate McWilliams, 26 from the UK, is currently the world’s youngest-ever commercial airline captain and we hope she will become a role model for girls and young women.

She joined the air cadets at 13 and joined an aviation training programme when she was 19.

“Since the day I started I’ve never looked back. I love being a commercial pilot and I’m proud I’ve achieved my ambition of becoming a captain.”

Captain Anja Hansen, 36 from Denmark, remembers when she started at flight school:

“There’s no doubt that when you think pilot, you think ‘male job’. I was the only woman at my flight school and it meant that any mistakes I made were more easily remembered by the instructors.”

According to Anja, it was also a life changing experience. “Where I’m from, most people settle down near home. Instead, I’ve lived in Spain, London and Germany and experienced so many different cultures. It’s given me the travel bug.”


Carlotta Galaffi, 42 from Italy, was also the sole woman on her course 16 years ago. She began flying when her son was one, after a three-year stint as Cabin Crew.

“Being a woman and a mother, many people were shocked when I told them I was planning to become a pilot. And, as Italians have quite traditional gender views, it took courage to pursue it,” she adds.

“It wasn’t an easy ride, but every day I go to work and I love it.”

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