Real Answers from Real Pilots

Women in aviation

Hello mentors and thank you for taking time to answer our questions!

I have a few questions in mind that I’m hoping someone might be able to answer…

A United pilot I spoke to a few months ago mentioned that airlines are looking for more women since women only account for about 6% of pilots so he said that being a woman and bilingual is a big plus. Is this true?

Also, what are the rules/policies for women who become pregnant during their time as pilots? How far into the pregnancy can women continue to fly? And how soon can they come back after giving birth?

Your responses will be greatly appreciated
Evelyn

1 Like

Evelyn,

It is true that the airlines are looking to diversify their workforce and that includes hiring more women. That being said, female applicants must still meet all of the same eligibility requirements as the men do.

Being bilingual is not of any real advantage when it comes to applying for the airlines. English is the official language of aviation and is the only language spoken on U.S. flight decks. Speaking a second language is beneficial to airline employees that have regular interactions with passengers, but pilots do not have that. Speaking another language will make you popular with your crew on overnights where you speak the language and they do not.

I am not sure about maternity policies at the airlines, but I can tell you that I have seen woman flying who seemed rather pregnant and noticed that they return to work rather quickly if they want to. That being said, most seem to take advantage of FMLA and spend several months at home with their new borns.

Chris

Evelyn,

It is true that the airlines are looking to diversify their workforce and that includes hiring more women. That being said, female applicants must still meet all of the same eligibility requirements as the men do.

Being bilingual is not of any real advantage when it comes to applying for the airlines. English is the official language of aviation and is the only language spoken on U.S. flight decks. Speaking a second language is beneficial to airline employees that have regular interactions with passengers, but pilots do not have that. Speaking another language will make you popular with your crew on overnights where you speak the language and they do not.

I am not sure about maternity policies at the airlines, but I can tell you that I have seen woman flying who seemed rather pregnant and noticed that they return to work rather quickly if they want to. That being said, most seem to take advantage of FMLA and spend several months at home with their new borns.

Chris

Thank you for your response. I’m really looking forward to starting ATP in June.

Great! Let us know what we can do to help you prepare. As always, feel free to ask us any questions that you think of.

Chris

Hi Evelyn,

The airlines are looking for qualified pilots of all genders, races, ethnicities etc. If you qualify and interview well you’ll have no issues getting hired but being a woman and bilingual should really not enter into the process.

Different airlines have different policies regarding maternity leave but from what I understand most are favorable and fairly liberal. The only caveat I’d say is I would avoid pregnancy your first year (while you’re still on probation) when the airline has just spent a ton of money training you and would like to have you flying and gaining experience that first year.

Adam

Thank you guys for your response!