Female role models are an important component in encouraging more women into the aviation industry, said Yasmeen Fraidoon, Gulf Air’s first female Bahraini captain.

“Since I was a child I’ve always been fascinated with aircraft, with flying,” she said from the Bahrain International Airshow 2022.

“I was the type of kid that if you put me in an aircraft, I could never sleep, I was just wide awake looking outside the window. And that passion just never stopped.”

Backup degree

But Fraidoon feared entering an industry that at that point had very few female employees. So as a “backup”, she enrolled on a degree in business information systems. After graduating, she was hired by JPMorgan Chase.

Then an advert appeared for Gulf Air, and she completed her dream of training as a pilot.

“When you don’t see what can be done, it’s difficult for you to achieve it,” she said.

Role models

“So you keep questioning yourself. Am I making the right decision? How come nobody took that decision? How come there are no women pilots pursuing this career?

“But when you have role models, when you see that other women are pursuing this job and flourishing in it, then it gives you the confidence that you can do it as well.

“And that emphasises the importance of role models in this industry.”
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