Most of us have a childhood dream to fly in the sky or to become a pilot. Aviation sector is one for our all dreams. The aviation industry is considered as a fast-growing industry that offers a wide range of opportunities and other lots of facilities. There is far more to aviation than just being a pilot. There are many good career options, one can choose to become a Pilot, Gate Attendant, Cabin Crew, aerospace engineer, air traffic controller etc

My name is Ruth .O. Anih from Nigeria about two years ago my President H.E Muhammadu Buhari made a shocking statement during a joint press briefing with German chancellor Angela Merkel saying “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room”. This statement was greeted with heavy criticisms because women believe they deserve more but beyond belief and social media ranting we now have hard facts also emanating from Germany.

TO prove that women deserve a place in leadership L’Oréal Paris teamed up with McCann world group Deutschland for a humorous social media standing for female empowerment across board. The sad truth about gender equality in Germany: Men dominate the management and executive boards – with 91.4%. This shocking discovery sparked a wider investigation by the pair on women in leadership roles across the country. 

This found that what women lacked in numbers they more than made up for in results, significantly outperforming their male peers on occasions where they do reach the top. When women occupy 30% of management positions for instance profitability was found to increase by 15%.

Furthermore, female executives were found to perform 24% above men in management reviews while firms which employed more women leaders generated around 20% more patents per year.

To keep pace with the rapid growth, there is a need to improve efficiency and effectiveness at all levels of aviation operations. One of the ways the desired improvements can be achieved is by making the aviation industry more gender balanced.

When you think about aviation history most of the names and faces that come to mind are male, with the exception of Emilia Earhart of course! I would like to shed some light on the lesser-known women who have made their own incredible marks on the Aviation Industry.

• Emma Lilian Todd (1865) – She grew up with a love for mechanical devices and later became a self-taught inventor who is considered the first woman in the world to help design aircraft.

• Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (1892) –The first Native American and African American woman to hold a pilot license, as well as the first African American to earn an International aviation license.

• Ruth Rowland Nichols (1901) – The first woman in 1924 to be licensed to fly a hydroplane. In 1927, she was one of two women licensed to fly transport planes. She holds more than 35 women’s aviation records. She set a transcontinental speed record in 1930, beating Charles Lindbergh’s record set earlier that year. She was the only woman to hold simultaneously the women’s world speed, altitude and distance records for heavy land planes before Amelia Earhart broke these records.

• Phoebe Omlie (1902) –The first female to receive an airplane mechanic’s license, the first licensed female transport pilot and the first female to be appointed to a federal position in the aviation field.

• Elsie MacGill (1905) – The world’s first female aircraft designer. Also known as the “Queen of the Hurricanes”, she worked as an aeronautical engineer during World War II.

• Helen Richey (1909) –As a pioneering female aviator, she earned her private license in 1930, at the age of 20. She began her career as an aerobatic pilot and ended up becoming the first woman to be hired as a commercial airline pilot in the United States.

• Elinor “The Flying Flapper of Freeport” Smith (1911) – In 1928, then 16, she earned national recognition as the youngest pilot to receive a license from the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1930, she was also voted, “best female pilot” by her peers, a group that included Amelia Earhart. Smith’s aviation records for endurance, altitude and speed in the 1920s and 30s led her to worldwide fame. Without these lovely ladies, aviation would simply just not be the same. 

Ruth O Anih a student of Kharkiv National Airforce University


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