More than 100 activities, twice as many as in 2015, unfolded across the world during the sixth annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, a global aviation awareness week for girls of any age, founded and managed by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW).
The initiative revolves around offering girls and women not familiar with aviation a chance to experience various aviation activities, hands-on, as well as meet women of aviation face to face to learn about the reality of various careers in the industry.
Early survey results indicate that, while 26% of them had thought of aviation before, only 16% had dared visiting an aviation facility prior to attending the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week event.
In 2016, roughly half of the official activities were organized by flight schools and flying clubs. Noticeable was the increase in aerospace factory visits, control tower tours, aviation university department open houses, and aviation museums special event offerings, according to officials.
The military also had a visible presence at many of the larger events.
“The girls loved it and were so inspired and inspiring!” said Robin Guillian, who organized an activity in Burlington, Vermont. “The feedback from the community, parents, and volunteers was amazing. I loved being a part of a global initiative!”
The effort also encourages aerospace businesses to examine the gender balance in their workforce and celebrate their successes in furthering the advancement of women within the industry.
“We have come a long way since I spearheaded this social movement in 2010,” said Mireille Goyer, iWOAW president. “The number of flights with all-female flight crew taking place during the week was remarkable and so was the number of aerospace companies, such as SAFRAN Aircelle, L-3 MAS, Nav Canada, and Airservices Australia, who participated in our March 8 Pink Paper Planes Day.”
More than 50,000 people were expected to participate in the week’s activities. Actual attendance and Fly It Forward flights numbers will be announced on March 21, along with the final survey details and the names of the annual Fly It Forward Challenge award winners.
Fly It Forward is a call to action urging pilots to pass along the gift of flight to girls of any age to close the flight introduction gender gap.