Diversifying the Pilot Pipeline

Access and Opportunity

Aug 4 2023 • 26 mins

A 2022 analysis issued by consulting firm Oliver Wyman found a shortfall of 8,000 pilots in North America, or 11% of the total workforce. That gap is estimated to grow to nearly 30,000 by the end of the decade. In their pursuits to staff up and meet new hiring goals, there is an opportunity for commercial airlines in the United States to diversify an industry that has a legacy of being overtly white and male by breaking down the barriers to entry.

On this episode, we’re exploring how the aviation industry is helping people from as many communities as possible to access roles within the industry. First, we hear from American Airlines pilot Captain Beth Powell about her journey to become one of just a few Black women holding high rank in the cockpit of commercial flights across America. Then, host Carla Harris sits down with Eric Hendrick, Delta Air Lines’ first Director of Pilot Outreach, to discuss the industry-wide endeavor to get more women and people of color involved into piloting. Come on and join us for the ride.


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