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Flying high

Chances of finding a woman pilot in India higher than anywhere else in the world, report says

By WITW Staff on July 8, 2015

The percentage of female pilots in India is the highest in the world at 11.7 percent, about triple the global average. A country that is often criticized for its treatment of and discrimination against women proudly reports that many families are willing to back women who want to become pilots regardless of their marital status. Airlines even include special contract clauses for women pilots, giving them flexible hours, ample vacation time and creches, or nurseries, at training centers. The Indian airline industry actively seeks to increase employment opportunities for women, ensuring that on every International Women’s Day, Air India’s flight operations are handled entirely by women. However, things were not always so bright for girls aspiring to soar in the skies. Harpreet Singh Dey, president of the Indian Women Pilots’ Association and the first female pilot to operate an international flight, reported ther sleeping quarters had no lodging accommodations for women during training in the 1980s, forcing her to share with male colleagues. India has come a long way since then, with both the aviation industry and the families of girls and women supporting female aviators to achieve their dreams of not just breaking gender barriers, but becoming world-class fliers.

Read the full story at The Economic Times.