Date: 7 March 2018
My name is Alicia, and my inspiration to become a pilot was my mother - Captain Emilia Niovani.
When I was a child, people would ask me if I wanted to be like her when I grew up. I didn’t understand what they meant at the time, as in becoming a pilot, and so I would always reply “Mummy is Mummy, what are you talking about?” It was not until I got the opportunity to go into the cockpit on one of her flights that I understood what they had meant. My mind was blown away watching her, and it was then that I thought to myself “Yes. This is what I want to do. I want to be like her.”
So I have followed in her footsteps.
The aviation journey has its highs and lows, but if anything, it has taught me: responsibility, dedication, hard work, the importance of precision and focus. Alongside these qualities it’s also helped me to further embrace the diversity of all people. Diversity is the key topic of this week – Worldwide Women in Aviation week, and is an important part of the journey through the aviation industry.
Estimates from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISWAP) say that there are only 4000 female pilots worldwide. This society publishes articles encouraging women to pursue this career as many are not aware of the opportunities open to them at such a young age. Check out their website here.
My advice to women considering these opportunities is that: yes, sometimes this career can make you feel out of place and you may feel the need to prove yourself and you perhaps a lack of recognition, but let this give you the drive to work harder. Nowadays people are open minded and fully accepting of women in the aviation industry, we are equals and discrimination is definitely on decline.
Change does take time, so do not let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Wishing you clear skies,