Becoming a pilot is far from easy, but challenging gender stereotypes and becoming a female aviator is even harder.
This didn’t stop Indian pilot Anny Divya from trailblazing her way to the top. Thirty-year-old Divya is now the youngest female commander of a Boeing 777 aircraft in the world.
Divya holds the high position with Air India — the culmination of a childhood dream of flying the skies.
“I always wanted to become a pilot, from my childhood,” Divya tells CNN Travel. “I didn’t have anybody around who knew about piloting at that time. I had no guidance […] I just wanted to fly.”
Divya was fueled by her passion and determined to succeed. She looked for people who might point her in the right direction. Eventually she was sent an advertisement for flying school by a friend and she applied at the age of 17.
“I got selected,” she recalls — but this marked the beginning of a steep learning curve.
Many of Divya’s new coursemates had flying experience — or family who worked in the aviation industry.
For Divya, it was all brand new.
“I had no clue about any aircraft, technology, nothing,” she says. “I’d never had any flying background or anybody to guide me, the whole subject was very new to me.”
Determination to succeed
On top of this, Divya found there were cultural differences to overcome.
She hails from Vijayawada, a small city in the southeastern part of India. Arriving in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, was a shock.
“I had issues with the language and cultural changes, even the way I would dress was different because I came from a smaller city,” Divya says. “The others were from good cities and had gone to good schools and colleges […] I had language barriers, I had cultural barriers.”
It was tough, Divya recalls, but she had a strong work ethic and was committed to succeeding.
“We all have some success stories and failures — but we have to focus on what we need and to keep learning,” she says. “I wanted to become a pilot, that’s what I wanted to do. So even though I was not doing OK initially, I was very determined to just do it.”
Divya enjoys every aspect of her high-flying profession.
“I love each part of the job, traveling and wearing the uniform,” she says. “We take off from different airports […] flying into new airports everyday. It’s never monotonous, it’s very adventurous.”
The airwoman is already planning the next step on her upward trajectory.
“Right now I want to fly new aircrafts, with more advanced technology,” she says. “I also want to get into teaching, I want to become a trainer.”
Divya is overjoyed that her story might inspire others to follow in her footsteps.
Source : CNN