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Women in Aviation Worldwide Week 2014

Did you know this week, March 3 – 9 is Women of Aviation Worldwide week?

Every year, the Women in Aviation international hosts a week promoting aviation for women.

During this week, over 300,000 women are expected to participate in many of the aviation events encouraging them to consider aviation as a career, in order to improve the number of women in the industry. This global outreach worldwide week is organized by non-profit company the institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW), which aspires to improve gender balance in a very male-dominated air and aerospace technical industry.

So how unbalanced is it for women anyway?

While women represent half of the world’s population, in aviation the numbers are still pretty dire in terms of gender representation.  For example: less than 2% of aircraft maintenance engineers are women, less than 5% of airline pilots are women, and less than 10% of aerospace engineers are women.

Raymonde de Laroche, first licensed female pilot.
Raymonde de Laroche, first licensed female pilot.

The annual week long event this March is an international week of awareness which celebrates women in aviation.  It’s always held at the same week of the year, around March 8 because on March 8, 1910, a pilots license was issued to a female for the first time – to Raymonde de Laroche.

Females around the world are invited to visit their local flight school to learn more about flying and aviation.   Many flight schools are hosting free “first flights” for women.  Check your local flight school if they have any promotions.

We had a look at what events were registered for our area. Sadly, there are none in Alberta where we are located but there are events in B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Lots of great events in these provinces – see if there is one near you.   In the U.S., there are activities in 18 states. See what’s happening in your state.

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week - This cool image is from
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week – This cool image is from

 Fly it Forward

Aviators around the world are encouraged to “fly it forward” by introducing a woman or girl to the world of aviation.  This could be taking them up for their first flight, for example, so that they can experience flight and know that the field is open to pursue it as a career.

The organization also presents awards to the organization, flight school, airport, pilot, instructor or other supporter who help in this endeavor. The weekly awards include:

Most female friendly airport: introduces most non pilot females to aviation during the week;

Most female friendly flight training centre: introduces the most non-pilot females to aviation during the week;

Most dedicated female pilot: woman pilot who introduces the most female non-pilots to aviation during the week; and

Most supportive male pilot: male pilot, non-instructor, who introduces the most female non-pilots to aviation during the week.

Last year, Canadian Waterloo-Wellingon Flight Centre was recognized as the most female pilot friendly training centre worldwide. This is thanks to their hard work promoting this important event.  This flight school is hosting many events during the week – including a fly in on March 8.  Check out their many exciting events.

There are some great challenges that are being held – one is an art contest, and there is also a first to solo challenge. The latter requires prompt action after the week and will go to the female who solos first after having discovered aviation during this week. This includes a prize of $1500! Pretty cool.

Check out the website for women of aviation worldwide week and for the institute for women of aviation worldwide.

Thank you so much to Women of Aviation Worldwide for organizing this amazing event year after year, and to all the businesses for participating and promoting aviation for women!