Brownies launch aviation badge to encourage girls to become pilots

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Kate McWilliams said she did not consider becoming a pilot until adulthood

Girlguiding group Brownies has launched an aviation badge as part of a campaign to encourage more women to become pilots.

To earn the badge, Brownies will have to perform aeronautical experiments and name 40 things that fly.

At present, women account for around 3% of commercial airline pilots worldwide.

Pilot and former Brownie Kate McWilliams said the plan was to "engage girls in a pilot career from an early age", adding it was a "fantastic" job.

EasyJet - which is part of the campaign - wants 20% of its new entrant pilots to be female by 2020. The figure was 6% in September 2015, and 12% a year later.

The new award is one of 117 badges available to Brownies, which is made up of girls aged between seven and 10.

Image source, Girlguiding
Image caption,
Brownies will have to perform experiments and name 40 things that fly to earn the badge

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EasyJet captain Marnie Munns said it was important for girls to have female role models in order to "encourage girls to see a pilot career as a real option available to them".

Ms Munns added she wanted to engage with young people "to inspire and educate them about aviation and becoming a pilot".

Girlguiding UK, which was set up in 1909 and includes Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, and Seniors, has more than 530,000 members.

Media caption,
In 2015, BA Senior First Officer Helen Macnamara explained her career path