Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Aviation; Women; Pilot; Workforce; Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) stands as an integral component of any successful organization. Historically, society has overlooked and underplayed DEI matters, resulting in the underrepresentation of minority groups, including women and people of color. In the past decade, underrepresentation of women and other minority groups in the aviation workforce has received attention and raised concerns among industry stakeholders. To gain insight into the status of women in aviation, the authors analyzed the participation of females in aviation professions between 2016 and 2021. Data used in this study were retrieved from the 2023 U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Descriptive and inferential statistical methods, including one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), are used to analyze the trends and features of pilots and instructors holding different types of airmen certificates. The analysis delves into temporal, geographic, and age distributions. The temporal distributions reveal that the number and percentage of women in aviation professions have not significantly changed. From 2007 to 2021, female airline transport pilots (ATPs) marginally increased from 3.7% to 4.7%. Notably, there are statistically significant differences across the eight FAA regions, with the Alaskan region having the highest percentage of female pilots, instructors, and remote pilots, while the Central and Southwest regions exhibit the lowest percentages. In addition, a significant age-related disparity exists among female pilots, with a decline in female representation as the certification level advances. Given that the underrepresentation of women in aviation professions resulted from a mix of social, educational, organizational, and financial factors,; recognition, understanding, embracement, and advocating for DEI issues could ultimately lead to increased equality, and a positive impact on the ongoing workforce shortage in the aviation sector and the long-term sustainability of the aviation industry.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.