Bidding to close the gender gap on aviation, a US airline took more than 100 girls to NASA to get them excited about a career in the male-dominated industry.
The fifth International Girls in Aviation Day took place on October 5, hoping to inspire young women to explore aerospace and aviation.
Delta Air Lines took it one step further: for their fifth annual WING flight, an all-female crew flew 120 girls to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Check out the news report below:
The girls, who came from area STEM schools (Science Technology Engineering Math), got to see women run all aspects of their flight.
The flight was organised by an all-female pilot and flight crew, with ramp agents, gate agents on the ground, those in the control tower giving pilots instructions all women.
Beth Poole, General Manager in Pilot Development, helped kick-start Delta’s first WING Flight back in 2015 – she’s helped plan each flight since.
In a Delta press release, Poole said:
We know representation matters. At Delta, we believe you have to see it to be it.
We’re taking ownership to improve gender diversity by exposing girls at a young age and providing a pipeline so that 10 years from now, they will be the pilots in the Delta cockpit inspiring generations of women who follow.
Throughout their trip, the girls got to meet mentors in several male-dominated aviation groups, including a female technician from Delta’s Technical Operations team. They also had the chance to have lunch with Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer.
Karyanna, a 16-year-old at the Jordan Technical Institute, said of the trip:
I never would have thought I would have had this experience. I’m really grateful for my parents who have made this possible and inspired my love of aviation. It’s such an exciting time to be in STEM. There’s so much left for us to discover.
Katelyn, a 17-year-old from the Advanced Learning Center, added: ‘It didn’t seem realistic to go after a career in aviation, but today I realized, ‘Hey, I can do this too’.’
As per Delta’s press release, the airline ‘is on par with the aviation industry’ with approximately 5% female pilots. In the past four years, 7.4% of Delta’s new hire pilots have been women – they hope WING flights will see a rise in those numbers.
International Girls in Aviation Day was a huge success this year too – they saw an increase from last year’s impressive numbers, with more than 20,000 people participated in the United States, Canada and Australia, as well as in Africa, Asia and Europe according to CNN.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.