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More Pilots Needed: Airlines Turn to Diverse Crew

More Pilots Needed: Airlines Turn to Diverse Crew
aviation opportunities

More Pilots Needed, Airlines Turn To Diverse Crew


When you conjure an image of a pilot, it often involves envisioning a white male donning a cap and uniform. Perhaps the charismatic Leonardo DiCaprio from “Catch Me If You Can” crossed your mind. We don’t blame you; the aviation industry has long been characterized by male dominance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a staggering 95% of the 158,000 pilots in the country are men. The aviation landscape lacks diversity, prompting airlines to actively seek out individuals to join their ranks as pilots.


Dana Donati, a former pilot with Republic Airways and now the CEO of United Aviate Academy, is on a mission to transform this paradigm. Historically, the aviation industry has excluded women and people of color from pilot roles, a pattern that is long overdue for change. Given the current pilot shortage in the country, it’s high time we cultivate the next generation of aviators. Moreover, fostering a diverse crew offers fresh prospects for everyone in the future.


Did you realize that black women comprise less than 1 percent of this profession? That means there are approximately only 200 black women actively piloting our aircraft. Sadly, this lack of representation isn’t surprising. Society, regrettably, has not been particularly inclusive to people of color or women in general. When you factor in flight expenses, generational disparities, and economic hurdles as additional barriers to pursuing a pilot career, it becomes evident why women and people of color face formidable challenges. They often lack the connections enjoyed by their white male counterparts.


In addition to the United Aviate Academy’s efforts, commercial airlines such as Delta Airlines are also striving to attract a more diverse pool of talent to the aviation profession. Delta has initiated the Delta Propel Career Path Program, which expedites the journey to the flight deck for aspiring pilots across 13 universities in the country.


Remarkably, the composition of pilots has reportedly remained virtually unchanged for over two decades, as Dana Donati points out. Within this timeframe, the glaring underrepresentation of women and people of color has dissuaded many from actively pursuing their aviation passions.


Consider Abby Awosanya, a 25-year-old first-generation Nigerian American woman, who recently obtained her private pilot license and is now working towards a 787 captain role with United Airlines. According to Awosanya, she would have entered the aviation world much sooner if she had seen more representation. In today’s American society, representation and diversity undeniably hold paramount importance. Let us aspire to witness more women and people of color occupying the cockpit, guiding us to the skies in the days ahead!


Do you have a strong passion for aviation and a dream of becoming a pilot? Stratus Finance is committed to supporting your aspirations through our flight school loans. Whether you’re contemplating flight training or already on your journey, we offer flexible financing options customized to suit your specific needs.
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