In celebration of Icelandair’s commitment to gender equality, we encourage travelers to get on board an airline with a social conscience, and to travel transatlantic via equality.
February 24 is Women’s Day (Konudagur) in Iceland. Traditionally connected to the old Norse calendar, Konudagur is an occasion for women to be pampered and commemorated by the men in their lives (similar to Valentine's Day), as well as to celebrate the arrival of spring and the brighter days ahead.
And yes, naturally there is a male equivalent in Iceland: Men’s Day (Bóndadagur, sometimes translated as Husbands' Day) is celebrated on January 25.
We at Icelandair pay tribute to the women of our home country, and we celebrate Iceland’s position as a pioneer of equality and women’s empowerment. It fills us with pride that for the past 10 years, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s annual index that measures gender equality.
Every year, the World Economic Forum publishes The Global Gender Gap Report. The report looks at all countries across the globe and ranks them in terms of women’s economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health, and political empowerment. The 2018 report states that: ‘The most gender-equal country to date is Iceland. It has closed over 85% of its overall gender gap.’
While this ranking is a welcome one, Iceland is committed to fully closing the gender gap. In 2018, the Icelandic government was the first in the world to pass a law making it mandatory for companies to implement the Equal Pay Standard, and undergo an audit and receive certification that they offer equal pay for work of equal value.
Icelandair is a leading employer in Iceland with a history of championing gender equality. We are proud of statistics that show we are a pioneering airline for the ratio of female pilots in our team, more than double the average of other commercial airlines.
Our Equal Pay Standard audit has been completed and we expect our certification to be issued in the coming weeks.
On Women's Rights Day, June 19, 1999, an Icelandic airliner was flown by an all-female crew for the first time. Two years later, another notable flight took off with female pilots and male flight attendants – an interesting reversal of the traditional roles of airline crews. At that time, Icelandair employed 240 captains and pilots, of whom only eight were women.
If this is a topic that interests you, you can view a 10-minute speech made by Icelandair’s Chief Pilot, Linda Gunnarsdóttir, at the Global Aviation Gender Summit in August 2018. Linda leads a team of over 600 pilots, of which 12% are female.