Female pilot left sexist note by passenger

9:34 PM, Mar 5, 2014   |    comments
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Toronto, Canada (CTV Network/CNN) -- When you fly Canada's major airlines the voice from the cockpit is usually male.

"Almost every day people, I find, are a little bit surprised," says Carey Steacy who has been with Westjet for nine-and-a-half years.

While Steacy knows she's the exception, the veteran pilot never expected to find a napkin left on a passenger's seat after a flight from Calgary to Victoria that read:

"The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor. I wish Westjet would tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I could book another flight."

"The flight attendants were all ladies and all of us had out mouths open in shock. We really didn't know what to say, and I also had a gentlemen flying with me and he felt the same way. We were all in shock," Steacy said.

In a statement, WestJet said, "We are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and we find this note very disappointing."

"It's absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense. Women are as good or maybe even better pilots," said Steacy.

Anna Serbinenko is a pilot and instructor at Canadian Flight Centre in Delta where between 10 and 25 percent of students are women.

"Sometimes you get into this old boys club and as a woman you have to fight your way through it and the only real way to get through that is your pilot skills," she explained. "You have to be sharper, better. I just hope that mindset would change like it has in a lot of professions."

Steacy refused to be embarrassed by the napkin -- she posted it on Facebook.

"I haven't read one thing that's not supportive. I have to think that's very much not a common opinion among the general public."

And rather than convince women not to become pilots, "Hopefully it inspires people, that's my biggest hope."

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