Watch: easyJet challenges gender stereotyping

EasyJet has launched a video campaign to inspire more girls to become airline pilots, a move designed to combat gender stereotyping.

EasyJet's viral video challenges gender stereotyping and stars wannabe pilot Hannah Revie
EasyJet's viral video challenges gender stereotyping and stars wannabe pilot Hannah Revie

The easyJet recruitment film, which has been created by Taylor Herring and its production arm St Marks Studios, is a reimagining of a scene from Hollywood film Catch Me If You Can in which Leonardo DiCaprio impersonates a pilot.

Starring nine-year-old Hannah Revie, whose mother Emily is an easyJet pilot, the 'Catch Up, If You Can' one-minute short shows Hannah dressed as a pilot and surrounded by an entourage of boys dressed as cabin crew, who are also played by the children of easyJet staff.

The video follows last week's news that TUI Airways had been giving little girls "future cabin crew" stickers and little boys "future pilot" stickers on flights. 

The move drew accusations of gender stereotyping and sexism and led TUI to explain that distribution of the stickers was a "simple mix-up" and that the stickers were purposely gender neutral. The airline had been criticised by Dame Gillian Morgan, who told Metro that "it's the way that they were handed out that makes it complicated".

However, Taylor Herring said the new easyJet video was not a riposte to TUI because it was shot 10 days before that story emerged.

The campaign has been built on an insight gleaned from a poll of 500 easyJet pilots, which found that as children, boys were more likely to have aspired to be a pilot than girls. The research also found positive role models in TV and film were key to inspiring young people, but the agency noted that most films about flyers — such as Top Gun and The Aviator — tend to focus on male pilots.

Chris Browne, easyJet's chief operations officer, said: "It is clear from our research that changing perceptions and ambitions for women starts in school.

"We wanted to create an entertaining but thought-provoking take on this famous movie scene, to inspire more girls to pursue this rewarding career. We hope that our campaign inspires a new generation of pilots, challenges gender stereotyping and encourages more women to take to the skies."

EasyJet is actively encouraging more women to apply to be pilots via its Amy Johnson Initiative, which launched in 2015.

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