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Senators Collins and Duckworth Introduce Legislation to Support Women Pursuing Careers in Aviation

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that would encourage women to pursue careers in aviation and promote programs to support their professional development in the field. Representatives Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Mimi Walters (R-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 


“Although women make up more than 50 percent of our nation’s workforce, they are significantly underrepresented in the aviation industry, representing just six percent of pilots, four percent of flight engineers, and two percent of airline mechanics,” said Senator Collins. “Our bipartisan legislation encourages the aviation industry to offer opportunities, such as pilot training, STEM education, and mentorship programs that would help women to pursue and succeed in aviation-related careers.  Senator Duckworth and I urge our colleagues to join this effort to improve and increase the educational opportunities for women in aviation.”


“When I was training to become a pilot, it was rare to see another woman in my class,” said Senator Duckworth, one of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “Although some progress has been made to help women enter the aviation field, we are still dramatically underrepresented among pilots and we need to do more. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Collins to help level the playing field for women and encourage them to enter the aviation industry.”


Specifically, the Promoting Women in Aviation Workforce Act of 2017 would:


  • Express the sense of Congress that the aviation industry should explore all opportunities to encourage and support women to pursue a career in aviation;
  • Direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to create and facilitate a Women in Aviation Advisory Board to promote organizations and programs that provide education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women in the aviation industry; and
  • Direct the FAA to submit a report to Congress on common trends that discourage women from pursuing aviation careers; expanding existing scholarship opportunities for women in aviation; and coordinating professional training and recruitment programs.


A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.