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Women in Aviation: Amy Leversidge’s Story

As part of International Women’s Day we’re highlighting the stories of women in aviation and looking at the challenges they face as the industry strives for greater diversity. Read on for their stories in their words:



BALPA General Secretary


Her story in her own words: 

It was an honour to be elected as BALPA’s General Secretary and take up post in January this year and an incredible privilege to make history as the first woman elected to post in our 86 year history. I felt incredibly proud to see headlines about ‘breaking the glass ceiling’.

“Only around 6% of pilots are women…”

There is no doubt that aviation still is a very male environment. Only around 6% of pilots are women. It’s a stubborn figure that has not changed much over the years, despite several high-profile campaigns to increase the figure. At BALPA we’re engaging with our members, with employers throughout the airline industry and with stakeholders throughout the industry to push them to recognise and tackle this huge challenge.

Many airlines have made moves to show a more diverse image of pilots in their advertising which is good because visibility and representation are important – if you can see it then you can be it. But words and images only go so far and deeds and actions will be more instrumental in achieving change.

Understanding why women are less likely to become pilots

We’re urging stakeholders across the aviation industry to really grapple with the reasons women are less likely to enter or stay in the career. From uniforms that are not designed for women, to a lack of family friendly policies such as enhanced maternity pay and help with the challenges of childcare, to an understanding of what it is like to be a pilot while going through the menopause … there are so many changes that can make this a better profession for women.

Last month BALPA’s Executive Paul Copland and I attended an Inclusivity in Aviation event hosted by The Air League in the Houses of Parliament. This was a fantastic opportunity to understand the issues the industry face, and listen to a number of inspirational speeches, particularly the Department for Transport’s new ‘Aviation Ambassadors’ who show just how bright and exciting the future of aviation really is. Ultimately what we must work to is that everyone who has the talent and skills to be a pilot has the opportunity to become a pilot.


This is the second in a series of articles we’re publishing as part of International Women’s Day, March 8th 2024. You can view the other stories from women in aviation via the links below.

Kate’s Story

Sophia’s Story

Michelle’s Story