easyJet has joined forces with Girlguiding to launch a new Aviation badge for Brownies as part of a programme to raise awareness that girls can become pilots in the future.
The partnership follows a recent Girls' Attitudes Survey, conducted by Girlguiding, which found that becoming a pilot was viewed as a dream job for girls aged between seven and ten years old, and that three in four feel encouraged when they see a woman doing a job that they would like to do in the future. It has the potential to reach 200,000 young girls and introduce them to the world of aviation.
To earn the Aviation badge, girls will challenge themselves to think of 40 things that fly and put their engineering skills to the test by creating their own aircraft experiments with different building materials, structures and launch techniques.
The partnership also builds on easyJet's work to boost the number of women choosing to become a pilot. The Amy Johnson Flying Initiative, which was launched in 2015, is designed to increase the number of easyJet's female pilots with a recruitment target of 20 per cent of new pilots by 2020. At the time of its launch, women made up six per cent of its new pilot intake against a worldwide industry average of just over four per cent. Having recruited 49 new female pilots last year, up 48 per cent on 2016, women now comprise 13 per cent of easyJet's pilot force. Earlier this year, easyJet explained that its gender pay gap, which is more than 50 per cent, reflected the massive gender imbalance in its pilot community.
The Aviation badge is the first to be announced as part of Girlguiding's biggest ever overhaul of badges and activities, which will be fully revealed in the summer, to equip young girls with skills and experiences to thrive in the modern world. The new badges and activities will centralise around six themes: Skills for my future; Have adventures; Be well; Know myself; Express myself; and Take action. It marks the biggest investment in girls' futures outside the school system.