Meet the Superwoman in Aviation Industry
A female aviator is making history for her tenacity to enter a male-dominated industry and for inspiring women that dreams do come true.
Anny Divya is the youngest female commander of a Boeing 777 aircraft in the world and holds the high position with Air India.
Many might wonder about Divya’s secret to success. The young pilot was eager to share her life story through a CNN Travel interview.
The passionate aviator admitted pursuing her long-time dream to be a pilot was not a walk in the park.
At an early age, Divya dreamed to be a pilot amid no background in aviation. The young girl just wanted to fly.
Divya recalled, “I always wanted to become a pilot, from my childhood.I didn’t have anybody around who knew about piloting at that time. I had no guidance […] I just wanted to fly.”
With her determination to succeed, Divya applied for flying school at age 17. Oblivious of what was at stake in the future, the teenager was more driven by the determination to succeed amid everything being brand new to her.
Divya said, “I had no clue about any aircraft, technology, nothing,” she says. “I’d never had any flying background or anybody to guide me, the whole subject was very new to me.”
Divya admitted the struggles were real during her flying school days. Money is a challenge for her and for her family especially since the course was expensive.
Aside from that, Divya came from a smaller city in Uttar Pradesh where she had her education for aviation.
“I had issues with the language and cultural changes, even the way I would dress was different because I came from a smaller city,” Divya says. “The others were from good cities and had gone to good schools and colleges […] I had language barriers, I had cultural barriers.”
But her grit was more powerful than the struggles.
“We all have some success stories and failures – but we have to focus on what we need and to keep learning,” she says. “I wanted to become a pilot, that’s what I wanted to do. So even though I was not doing OK initially, I was very determined to just do it.”
Support from her family also emboldened the young Divya to persevere and continue the rough road to success.
The young girl’s hard work finally paid off after finishing her training at 19 and began working for Air India.
Shrugging off Stereotypes
Divya also shared how many people were amazed by her profession. Many are still surprised that she’s a female pilot.
She said people keep asking ‘Are you a commander?’ ” she says. “They’re like, ‘But she’s such a young girl to be flying such a big plane!'”
But those comments do not bother the 30-year-old pilot.
Passion is Real Deal
Fueled by her passion in flying, Divya was unstoppable to finally fulfill her dreams. Ten years of experience in the aviation company have made her even tougher and she became a seasoned pilot. Divya is willing to be trained for more advanced technology in the industry.
But what is striking about Divya is her great passion for her profession and adventure. That is why many people are inspired by her story.
“I love each part of the job, traveling and wearing the uniform,” she says. “We take off from different airports […] flying into new airports every day. It’s never monotonous, it’s very adventurous.”
Message to All Women
Divya is happy and grateful that she would become a platform for other women to follow in her footsteps.
“I’m really happy that people are inspired and they want to achieve their dreams,” she says.
Divya left a powerful message to all women during the final part of the interview.
“I want guys, girls, everybody to achieve their dream and if you want to become a pilot you need to have a passion for this,” she says. “Because the sector is such that sometimes the jobs are there, sometimes there are no jobs – you really need to have that passion. You have to have patience.”
Female Pilots in Demand as Travel Booms in Asia
Women of the 21st century are conquering almost everything, even soaring high by becoming pilots. In Asia, due to a skyrocketing number of travels, the industry is desperately short of pilots. Now, the industry is encouraged to hire women pilots.
To meet the demands of the airline industry, it is projected that Asia will need around 226,000 pilots by 2034. This is attributed by evident global growth in airline industry.
Europe and North America are next in line with with 100,000 pilots needed by the industry in the next two decades.
Because Asia is going to need another 226,000 pilots in the next two decades, there is no room for gender bias and hiring women pilots is a great option.
To encourage women to become pilots, a U.K.-based EasyJet Plc has set up a scholarship with the British Women Pilots Association. Thus, encouraging women to join the aviation industry as pilots in the future.
In addition, Vietnam Airlines Corp., one of the of the world’s 10 fastest-growing aviation markets, creates ‘friendly’ schedules for women pilots that considers demands of family life. The company considers schedules for maternity leave for female pilots and to fulfill responsibilities at home.