A total of 12 percent of new pilot licences issued in Canada in 2023 went to women according to statistics released Tuesday by the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide (IWOAW). The Montreal-based organization said 13 percent of new recreational-oriented licences, 12.3 percent of commercial tickets and 8.1 percent of airline transport permits went to women. Women have historically represented about six to seven percent of pilots but groups including IWOAW have been active in the last decade promoting aviation as a career for women and the needle is starting to move the organization noted.

IWOAW is making preparations for its annual campaign to introduce women and girls to aviation. This is the 15th anniversary of the Fly It Forward Challenge in which pilots donate their time and aircraft to give free flights to girls and women who have never flown in a small aircraft. There are also information booths with female role models at many of the events. The organization said that it has flown 22,403 Canadian females in the last 15 years and “the tangible impact of the initiative is uplifting.” This year’s events are planned for March 4-10.

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