Top Programs to Encourage Women Pilots

Published: 08-12-2019
The proportion of women pilots is too low. Let's do better.

CNBC recently asked an important question: Where are all the women pilots? According to major airlines, such as Delta and United, the percentage of women pilots flying is staggeringly low.

At best, 10% of pilots are women. And that record-breaking 10% comes courtesy of India. Fortunately, there are ways to improve these low numbers, and those efforts start with encouraging young women to fly.

Many young girls are not raised with the idea that becoming a pilot is a path they can take. Representation of women pilots in media helps, but the kernel of a career idea starts with the individual. So if you are raising a young girl who shows an interest in airplanes or aviation or flight, then let them know it is possible for a woman to become the captain of an airplane. Although this may sound trivial, the concept may not be as common as we assume.

How Do I Become a Woman Pilot?

According to Beverley Bass, American Airlines’ first woman captain, there are likely a lot of people who are simply not aware they can pursue this type of career. Bass recently told CNBC,

“I think, for the most part, women are just still not aware that this is a job opportunity”.

Fortunately, programs are in place to help recruit women into this exciting career. And give ladies the financial assistance they need earn their wings. Let’s take a look.

The 99s

The Ninety-Nines, also known as the International Organization of Women Pilots, awards the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship each year.

This annual award is worth $10,000 and may only be used to pursue a career in aviation. As an added bonus, applicants are able to reapply for funds until they eventually graduate.


CAE, or Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd., issues scholarships to women around the world if they are interested in flying. Funds for these scholarships come from big name airliners too:

  • AeroMexico
  • American Airlines
  • AirAsia
  • CityJet

That said, this year is the first edition of the program. If everything goes well, CAE is likely to continue accepting donations and distributing scholarships in an effort to improve the pilot shortage.


WAI, or Women in Aviation International, is a paid scholarship subscription. Those paying the annual $45 are updated on all of the latest scholarship opportunities created by the organization.

In addition, WAI also provides various outreach programs, such as training and education, for women interested in aviation. WAI also offers a list of 2020 flight training scholarships.

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