How Pegasus Airlines Is Working To Increase Female Representation

Pegasus Airlines is widely involved in several projects that extend beyond its typical remit of commercial aviation. For example, last week, we took a look at how the Turkish low-cost carrier is engaging with the topic of sustainability. The airline is also passionate about gender equality, and increased female representation in its large and diverse workforce.

Pegasus Airlines has worked with IATA on female representation. Photo: Getty Images

Already achieved a key goal

In November 2019, the IATA announced its ’25 by 2025′ pledge to increase gender equality in what is often a male-dominated industry. Simple Flying reported that 30 airlines joined the scheme. It encourages carriers to target a 25% increase in female representation, or at least get their proportion of female employees up to 25%. One carrier was Pegasus Airlines.

The Turkish budget operator had already joined the Women’s Empowerment Principles platform in 2016. It has already achieved the initial goal of a workforce where over 25% of employees are female. Speaking to Simple Flying as part of the World Aviation Festival, Güliz Öztürk, Pegasus Airlines‘ Chief Commercial Officer, explained that:

Gender equality is a key priority for us at Pegasus, and an integral part of our future vision. As of December 2021, we have 1,910 female employees (32.9% of our total workforce) across every department of the business, which includes 62 female pilots and 259 in our headquarters (44% of total HQ).”

Always looking to increase representation

While just under a third of Pegasus Airlines‘ employees are female, the Turkish low-cost carrier is continuing to focus on gender equality in the workplace. It wants to employ more women across all areas of its operations, with Öztürk telling Simple Flying that:

We are actively working to increase the representation of women across the company and industry-wide, not only in the head office, but also by hiring female pilots, technicians, and engineers.”

Pegasus also strives for diversity when it comes to the makeup of its cockpit crews. Its pilots come from a wide range of backgrounds, and Öztürk adds that:

While building cockpit teams, we seek to create equal opportunities for all pilots and pilot candidates, regardless of gender or race, and encourage more female pilots to join our cockpit crew.”

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A good year for female representation

Amid the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 2021 has been a difficult year for the world of commercial aviation. However, the industry as a whole has seen some important milestones when it comes to female representation in the sector. For example, Fiji Airways appointed the first female captain in its 70-year history in November 2021.

Meanwhile, Air India operated its inaugural Bangalore-San Francisco flight with an all-female cockpit crew. Two months later, March 8th marked International Women’s Day, and Simple Flying told the story of Afghanistan’s first flight with an all-female crew.

The Kam Air flight from Kabul to Herat was a key breakthrough. After all, women’s rights have historically been minimal in Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see what airlines have up their sleeve next March, when International Women’s Day comes around again.

What do you make of Pegasus Airlines’ gender equality work? How do you think airlines can attract a more even proportion of female employees? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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