the first flight departed with an all-female crew

The commander Paola Gini and the first officer Vivien Allais were the protagonists of the first Italian flight with a crew exclusively made up of women: here is the take-off of the Boeing 747 that made history.

The gender gap it also exists within reality aeronautics: in fact, in addition to an important wage gap in various companies dedicated to air transport, there is a clear one disparity between female and male presences within the crew working in the flight cabin. For this reason, the Boeing 747 flight departed from Malpensawith a crew made up exclusively of women, represents an Italian record and a great step forward in overcoming the gender stereotype and in welcoming women into a professional sector which, like many other work categories (see haute cuisine and professional sport, to give a couple of examples), struggles to welcome women.

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The all-female flight from Malpensa

From Milan Malpensa to Seoul, South Korea: this is the route that involves the first Italian flight with an all-female crew, piloted by two women. Paola Gini and Vivien Allaisrespectively commander and first officer, have successfully brought the Boeing 747 of the Luxembourg company Cargloux and to report it to us directly from the Facebook group: “Boeing 747 The Queen of the Skies”. Thanks to this social group it was possible to follow in direct the leg of the flight that departed at 3:55 pm on Tuesday 20 September and landed after about 10 and a half hours in the sky, thanks to the expert work of Gini, a native of Torviscosa, a small town in the province of Udine, and Allais, born in Coazze , Turin.

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The increase in the presence of women in the air force

This event has a very important historical value, as it conveys a message of hope that it strives for gender inclusiveness within a sector where the gap between the presence of men and women is still very wide. According to the data collected during the course of 2021, in fact, the countries that gather the highest number of female drivers do so with percentages anyway very low: the greatest presence of women in flight is in India (12.4%), South Africa (9.8%), Australia (7.5%) and Canada (7%). Fortunately, however, in Italy and around the world there is an increase in registrations to aeronautical academies by women. According to the register of the Air Force Academy of Pozzuoli, for example, girls represent 15% of new cadets enrolled. A figure that would have been unthinkable just twenty years ago.

A historic moment

An epochal turning point for history aviation Italian, which now opens up in a clear and explicit way to the reception of women among its professional categories, without privileging a gender over the mere evaluation of trite stereotypes on what a man and a woman should or should not do based on characteristics traditionally considered male or female. A similar event, but with completely different intentions, had already occurred in 2013, when Ita Airways (ex Alitalia) had celebrated, in 2013, the International Women’s Rights Day organizing a fully female crewed flight from Rome to Milan and vice versa. That time, the commander Barbara Plantilli Lambert, the co-pilot Valentina Leone and the flight attendants Giovanna Ruiu, Francesca Anzil and Matilde Marcelli were present.


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The gender (pay) gap between pilots

Despite some industry improvements and the number of women problems of gender gap and above all of gender pay gap (i.e. the phenomenon whereby the gender gap is constituted by a difference salary, with the same job position and hours worked) still exist. As reported by Iata, the international association that groups together most of the airlines from all over the world, the gender imbalance is especially noticeable “in the upper floors”: only 3% of managing directors are women (in sectors other than public aviation the figure reaches 12%, which, although miserable, is still a much higher value). Furthermore, making a comparison between different companies, in 2018 it emerged that many have become sad protagonists of important wage differences between male and female pilots: the most serious case involves Ryanair: a euro earned by a man corresponds to a salary of 33 cents for the woman, which causes an income less than 67%.

Alice Michielon

Graduated in Arts, Entertainment, Cultural Events at the IULM University of Milan, she is pursuing a Master in Storytelling Arts. You are passionate about storytelling in all its forms, from narrative to …

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the first flight departed with an all-female crew

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