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02 Aug 2018

BY James Chapple

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EasyJet joins forces with Brownies to launch aviation badge

EasyJet has teamed up with girl guiding group Brownies to launch a new aviation badge, designed to encourage more young girls to take an interest in the sector.

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EasyJet joins forces with Brownies to launch aviation badge

Announced back in March, the new badge is one of dozens finally launched this month aiming to boost the historic youth charity’s role in introducing young girls to a wider range of potentially career-inspiring activities and opportunities.


Brownies will have to perform their own aeronautical experiments, testing their initiative and engineering skills, and name 40 things that fly to earn the badge.


EasyJet is sponsoring the badge, which will be available to around 200,000 girls.


A recent Girlguiding survey found becoming a pilot was one of the dream jobs named among girls aged seven to 10, and that attitudes towards STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths - subjects among younger girls are changing.


Just 15% said STEM subjects had the image of being more for boys, compared to 52% of the 11 to 21-year-old girls surveyed.

 

MORE: How travel is tackling gender pay


Meanwhile, an easyJet survey of more than 500 pilots found visible role models, such as pilots, seen or met while on holiday were vital to inspiring young people into considering such a career.


Captain Kate McWilliams, easyJet pilot and former Brownie, said: “I joined the air cadets when I was 13 where I got plenty of flying experience.


“However it was a lot later I imagined a career in commercial aviation as I didn’t know any commercial pilots who I could ask for advice. I never thought it could be an option available to me.


“Having been a Brownie myself, I am delighted this new aviation badge will engage girls in the career from an early age. It’s a fantastic career and anyone with an interest should consider it.”


EasyJet has been taking a lead on gender equality issues in travel since launching its Amy Johnson Flying Initiative in 2015, which is to date thought to have reached nearly half a million girls and young women through its 140 school and college visits.


It wants 20% of its 2020 pilot intake to be female, up from 6% in 2015.


The International Society of Women Airline Pilots recently found just 4% of the world’s airline pilots are female.

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