India has highest number of female pilots: Do you know India India has the largest proportion of women pilots globally? According to estimates by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, there are 12.4% female pilots in India while it is 5.5% in the US, the world’s largest aviation market. Apart from this, in Britain this figure is 4.7 percent. In such a situation, these figures raise the question that how is the picture of the aviation industry changing in a country which is ranked 135th out of 146 countries in gender equality?
Responding to this question Nivedita Bhasin, a former pilot, says, “Indian women are encouraged by many factors ranging from outreach programs in the aviation industry to better corporate policies and strong family support. In addition, many women are attracted to flights from the National Cadet Corps airwing. Formed in 1948, the NCC is a youth program where students are taught to fly light aircraft. This makes it easier for women to access expensive commercial pilot training.
Along with this, some state governments are also giving subsidy. Companies such as Honda Motor offer full scholarships of 18 months program to women in Indian Flying School and help them find jobs. According to Professor Michelle Halleran, who lives in Florida, India began recruiting women into STEM positions, including pilots, decades ago. This was not the case in other countries. If we talk about India, then the Indian Air Force started recruiting women pilots for helicopters and transport from the 1990s.
Some airlines in India are also making policies to groom female talent. India’s largest passenger airline Indigo offers easy working conditions to women pilots. They are not given flying duty during pregnancy as well as maternity leave with 26 months salary as per law. Along with this, there are also crches for the care of children. Female pilates can take a flexible contract that provides 2 weeks off in a calendar month until their child turns 5 years old.
In addition, Vistara gives pregnant women pilots and cabin crew the option of temporary ground or administrative duties until they are ready to fly again. Along with this, he also gets maternity leave with 6 months salary and also gets money for his crche fees. Some airlines also provide a driver and guard to women flying late at night.
According to Hana Khan, a commercial pilot, the most important thing that goes into the interest of female pilots is the family structure. Family structure like India is difficult to find in western countries. She says that women pilates have a lot of family support in India. Children in an Indian family have grandparents or grandparents who help raise the children and take care of the household.