February 13, 2024

Canadian Women Grabbed 12% of All Pilot Licences Issued in 2023

Hanna Abdo

Originally posted on the Insistute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide website iWOAW.org on January 31, 2024.

(Photo credit: Gus and Clara Corujo)

From 2010 to 2023, the number of pilot licences issued to women grew by 79% in the commercial sector and 58% overall.

iWOAW is pleased to share encouraging Canadian pilot population statistics. In 2023, Canadian women grabbed 12 percent of the 6,354 pilot licences issued by Transport Canada, 58 percent more than in 2010.

Over half (52%) of all pilot licences issued in 2023 were recreational in nature. Transport Canada recorded 2,980 new Private pilot licences, the first step to an eventual professional career. 65 percent of these licences went to candidates between 20 and 39 years old.

Eileen Vollick was the first Canadian woman to receive a pilot licence on March 13, 1928, and Rosella Bjornson was the first Canadian female pilot to be hired by an airline in 1973. Last year, Canadian women qualified for 13 percent of the new recreational-type pilot licences, 12.3 percent of the new Commercial pilot licences, and 8.1 percent of the new Airline Transport pilot licences.

The progress in the commercial sector is particularly impressive. The number of women who received a Commercial or Airline pilot licence soar to 334 last year. It was just 197 15 years ago when iWOAW launched the Fly It Forward® Challenge, the world’s first female-specific outreach initiative focused on closing the aviation introduction gender gap. At the time, a boy was more than twice as likely as a girl to be introduced to aviation careers.

As iWOAW prepares to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its Fly It Forward® Challenge that made it possible for nearly 73,000 Canadian girls of all ages to visit various aviation industry facilities and facilitated 22,403 first flight experiences for women and girls, the tangible impact of the initiative is uplifting.

iWOAW is asking aviation enthusiasts and professionals who want to change the face of aviation to double down their efforts during the upcoming Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 4-10, and respond to its 15-for-15 challenge to introduce at least 15 women or girls to aviation’s career opportunities, hands-on, during the Week.

iWOAW annually awards global Fly It Forward® titles and trophies to the most outstanding airport, community, corporation, and event organizers. iWOAW announces the names of the winners at the end of March.