and I have the proof 🙂
From the age of 4 my parents got us used to a life of jetting off to India every year over the school summer holidays. July and August in India are of course the worst months of the year, with peak temperatures (40 – 50C) followed by warm monsoon rains followed by hundreds of mosquito bites! As painful as those summers might have felt at the time, I look back and count myself lucky to have had the chance to grow up understanding the country of my origins. Serious gratitude is owed to my lovely mum and dad.
Here I am today, having taken well over 300+ flights in my lifetime and currently shooting back and forth between London and Dublin (my new home) still feeling lucky. The Ethos way of work makes it possible – that’s pretty amazing.
A few weeks ago, on one of my trips back home, something happened that has never happened before in all my time as a jet passenger. I was on an Aer Lingus flight from Gatwick that morning. I hate to sound pompous but really, flying is such a boring chore for me now. I don’t get excited or anxious or exhilarated being in an airport full of people jetting off to many continents. For me it’s like catching the tube back home. On this particular morning in the usual way I robotically boarded the plane, hunted down my seat number, smiled to the lady who had the good fortune to sit next to me, settled into my seat and buckled up ready for take-off. Then over the tannoy came a warm calm female voice welcoming us on board. My brain didn’t register for a split second that this could actually be the voice of the pilot flying us to Dublin, but it was! Suddenly I realised that this is the first female pilot I’ve ever been flown by! How come? Over 300 flights and all the pilots have been male. WHY? I turned to the lady next to me and mentioned how great it was to hear a female pilot, but my fellow passenger was nervous because of it. I joked that it’s a myth that men drive better than women…. I don’t think I helped her anxiety! Ooops! How strange that she felt less confident with a female pilot. Is this what is ingrained in us as women? Why can’t women be great pilots?
It’s quite possible that my story is banal as many of you might have already been flown by female pilots before, but for me it was my very first experience in more than 45 years of flying. Speaking as a women, it was a proud moment to know that women are making it out there in traditionally male environments, but also quite sad that it took me 45 years to come across it. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that we are progressing.
In case you’re wondering how it all ended, well we had the smoothest touch-down ever at Dublin airport.