Airways Aviation announced two recipients of its new female ab initio pilot scholarship, Hanna Gillam and Jessica Waite, to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The £35,000 scholarship programme, created in collaboration with the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA), was announced last October to help encourage more female pilots. Some 100 candidates attended a careers day held at Airways’ base at London Oxford Airport in the UK to register interest.
After being shortlisted to sit the industry-standard COMPASS test, Gillam and Waite were required to attend a panel interview, give a presentation and take part in a group exercise. They both scored highly on each task and progressed to a final round of one-to-one interviews at Oxford.
Marwan Atalla, Airways Aviation CEO, said: “We could not determine which of the highest-scoring candidates to go with, so the Board decided to offer two scholarships in 2018. With our global scholarship programme being rolled out around the world, and now with this new dedicated female scholarship in the UK, Airways Aviation is proud to be pushing for equal opportunities and reducing the barriers to entering what has typically been a male-dominated profession.”
Gillam and Waite’s scholarships will go towards an Airways Aviation EASA pilot training course. After completing the theory component at Airways’ Oxford base, they will move on to Huesca–Pirineos Airport to undertake practical flight training.
BWPA’s Chairwoman Julie Westhorp, a former commercial airline pilot and current flight instructor and examiner, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Airways Aviation, who share our desire to encourage more female pilots globally. Only 3% of the world’s pilot workforce today is female, and we believe the key reason for these low numbers is a lack of visible role models, not a lack of ability.”