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Why Are There So Few Women Pilots?

Why Are There So Few Women Pilots? A Comparative Case Study of Women Pilots in United States and Indian Aviation

by Caitlyn Keeve, ‘20

This investigation interrogates four variables that may explain why women are outnumbered by men in the pursuit of pilot licenses and careers. Those factors include: (1) workforce safety; (2) the impact of gender-role stereotypes; (3) access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training; and (4) professional support. This paper demonstrates that the existing arena for women in aviation is slowly improving, though the underrepresentation of women of color remains an issue. A comparative methodology was used to examine if the United States is a strong supporter of women pilots, while considering areas of growth through an international lens.

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About the Author

Collectif Caitlyn KeevesCAITLYN KEEVE, is an Honors Scholar and a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Mount Saint Mary’s University. She serves as the inaugural student ambassador for the Center for the Advancement of Women. In her role, she works to engage students in gender equity initiatives through innovative programming, social media, and outreach on both campuses. Under the advisement of Dr. Archer, Caitlyn’s honors thesis and Collectif piece are comparative analyses of women pilots internationally.


To learn more about the research and resources from the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University, visit Or contact the director, Emerald Archer, PhD, at or 213.477.2544.