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easyJet hosts first Brownie meeting on a plane to help inspire the next generation of women pilots

Brownies from Bedfordshire are the first ever Girlguiding group to hold their meeting on a plane.

  • easyJet and Girlguiding first partnered in 2018 to engage girls in aviation and to encourage more girls to consider a career as a pilot
  • An all-female team of easyJet pilots showed the Brownies what life is like in the flight deck
  • easyJet sponsors the Aviation badge for Brownies. Over 18,000 girls have already completed the badge or are working towards it.

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, and Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, have celebrated hosting the first ever Brownie meeting on a plane.

3rd Potton Brownies, from Bedfordshire, joined an all-female team of 14 easyJet pilots at the airline’s headquarters at London Luton Airport.  The 22 girls, aged 7-10, were treated to a tour of an Airbus A320neo aircraft, followed the pilots as they demonstrated their pre-flight checks of the plane and even got a view from the pilot’s seat, at the controls in the flight deck. The girls then quizzed the pilots on what life is really like as a Captain and First Officer.

Brownie Florence, 8, said:
“I already have my Aviation badge so going in the flight deck was really exciting. It was interesting speaking to the pilots and finding out what it’s like to fly a plane. I never thought being a pilot was something I could do when I’m older, but now I do.”

easyJet and Girlguiding joined forces in 2018 with the airline sponsoring the Aviation badge for Brownies. The badge launched last year as part of Girlguiding’s biggest ever overhaul of badges and activities, to equip girls with skills and knowledge they can use now and in the future. So far, over 18,000 girls have completed the Aviation badge or are working towards it.

To earn the badge, girls are challenged to think of 40 things that fly and put their engineering skills to the test, creating their own aircraft experiments with different building materials, structures and launch techniques. At the end of their visit, Brownies Alice, Ephelia and Zara were presented with their Aviation badges on board.

easyJet First Officer Stephanie Burn said:
“Growing up, becoming a pilot still wasn’t something that was advertised as a possibility to young girls. Today I feel proud to help to change this for the next generation and although there is still a way to go we are making significant strides through the Amy Johnson Initiative by meeting with schools and working with Girlguiding to break down barriers and dispel outdated gender stereotypes.”

Kat Lee, Head of Youth Programmes, said:
“Girlguiding and easyJet want to break down barriers and inspire the next generation of women pilots. It’s fantastic girls met pilots and learned more about the job. Having visible role models is an important part of showing girls this is a career for them.”
Girlguiding’s 2018 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found:

  • 53% of girls aged 7-10 would like to be a leader in their chosen job
  • 48% of girls aged 11-21 want more representation of women in science and technology

Earlier this year, Girlguiding launched Future Girl, its manifesto for girl-led change. Future Girl sets out the future girls want in five key topics, based on the views of 76,000 girls and young women aged 4-25. As part of the Barrier Breakers topic, 34,376 Brownies said they want to live in a world where girls and young women can choose to do any job they want.

easyJet launched its Amy Johnson Initiative in 2015 to tackle gender stereotypes and encourage more girls to consider a career as a pilot and set an ambitious target for 20% of new entrant pilots attracted to the airline to be female. In 2018, the airline reached 15% and is well on track to reach the 2020 goal.

The partnership with Girlguiding extends easyJet’s outreach work, as part of its Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, to the Girlguiding community of almost 400,000 girls and young women. Every week, easyJet matches local Girlguiding units with pilots who speak to the girls about their job. Since launching the initiative in 2015, easyJet pilots have visited over 400 schools and colleges.
easyJet’s continued partnership with Girlguiding, the UK’s leading charity for girls and young women, aims to engage even more girls in aviation throughout 2019.

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