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Air France women

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As from 1946, the first stewardesses and receptionists joined the ranks of female typists, secretaries, nurses and assistants.

On its creation in 1933, Air France was nearly exclusively made up of men. Out of the 2,000-strong male workforce, the company employed only a handful of women as wing canvassers, at the Toulouse workshops. Moreover, in the cabin, offices and ticket offices, male employees reigned supreme! But there was still a great deal to be done. “Managerial” positions remained out of reach. Up until 1965, in France, women were unable to pursue a professional activity without their husband’s authorization!

Legislation to ensure equal pay for equal work was only passed in 1972. And a long time passed before it was enforced at Air France, as elsewhere. But despite that, more and more women were gaining access to previously male-dominated jobs, including in the cockpit. In 1975, Danièle Décuré was the first woman to take control of an Air France plane. The last bastions of male dominance disappeared – the Vilgénis training centre welcomed its first female students in 1979.

The company’s different sectors of activity finally opened up to women, who currently represent… 44.6% of the Air France workforce.


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