Before we could even begin to address the issue at hand, we needed to understand why the issue was there in the first place. What is it about piloting commercial airlines that sees such an influx of male only applicants. Especially when gender has zero impact on the skillset required to do the job.
Our film needed to challenge what has become the norm, dismiss any belief that the role of a pilot is only for men and distill a belief in women watching, they already have what it takes.
We kicked things off with some good old fashioned research. Fortunately, FTA had recently interviewed a number of women currently in their training programme to get their thoughts on the matter. We then sit down with the transcripts of each interview to find a common theme amongst all answers given.
It quickly became apparent that the issue wasn't a lack of opportunity. If anything, airlines are crying out for female representation within their ranks. This was in fact a bias instilled in young women from a young age. A belief that those opportunities just weren't for them. To give an example, if we asked you to think of a pilot... we'd be willing to bet our RED V-Raptor that the person you'd envision would be a man. And if you look back through years and years of advertising, that man would normally be surrounded by an entourage of female cabin crew. I'm sure, like us, you're now starting to see how this may be problematic for young influential minds!
So by the time these young aviation enthusiast start to think about a career after education, they've already been exposed to a general belief that women simply don't become pilots.
That's where we needed to make the change! We needed to craft a campaign that inspired, motivated and empowered the next generation. Showing the relatable similarities between what young women have been doing their whole lives and what's required to fly. Sure there's an intense training process with multiple theory and practical exams... But that's all trainable knowledge. None of the results of the above are dictated by gender.
Our film follows a young girl preparing for the first day of school vs a young pilot on her first day of training. We follow their journeys and the similarities they share on the road to success. Any more info would simply be a spoiler!
We'll leave you to watch and enjoy.
Since the film was launched, FTA have seen a 30% increase in female applicants for their pilot training programme with online engagement and enquiries from young women interested in what FTA has to offer increasing dramatically.
We'd like to give special thanks to the staff and pupils of Swiss Gardens Primary School and the team at Virgin Atlantic for use of their facilities and support towards the campaign.