From the very first steps of aviation, women were always there. From Katherine Wright, who helped her brothers change the history of aviation by finding them teachers, funding their work and supporting throughout their journey, to Raymonde de Laroche, who became the world’s first licensed female pilot on March 8, 1910, to Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. And while the latter one is thought to be one of the most loved figures of aviation history, many women stay forgotten.
Aviation was never easy for women. In the late 1920s flying was considered dangerous, so many aircraft manufacturers hired women as sales representatives and flight demonstrators. Why? Well, their reasoning was that if a woman could fly an airplane, it really could not be that difficult or dangerous. Later women were thought to be worse pilots and people were afraid to fly planes, piloted by females. The public image of a woman was focused on being a mother, so women were seen as perfect for a stewardess job that, at the time, was mostly focused on being pretty, young and pleasant – just like a housewife. Times changed and with that the perception of women who, with the help of the feminist movement, showed to the world that they can be as good at male dominated fields, as the men themselves. But even though the stereotypes were shaken years ago, women still have a difficult time in the aviation industry.