Women in Aviation International’s Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) will go on in 2020 — despite the global pandemic — and it will be bigger and more far-reaching than ever, according to association officials.
WAI chapters and corporate members will not host in-person events this year, but instead will deliver a virtual experience through a new Aviation for Girls app that is free and available to all beginning Sept. 26, 2020.
“With the continued growth and success of Girls in Aviation Day — in large part due to the dedicated and tireless efforts of WAI corporate members and chapters all around the world — we knew we had to expand the GIAD experience this year, and canceling wasn’t an option,” says WAI CEO Allison McKay. “With input from our chapters, partners, the board of directors, and staff, we decided for the safety of our youngsters and volunteers to provide a virtual experience that takes no chances with safety.”
Without geographic constraints, the Aviation for Girls app is the tool WAI will provide to allow more girls to experience the WAI content, resources, career panel videos, hands-on activities, virtual tours, scholarships, and mentoring opportunities.
Key to the GIAD experience is providing participants the chance to meet role models to whom they can relate, see in themselves, and who represent career opportunities they may never have dreamed of, WAI officials said.
GIAD attendees using the app will qualify to apply for WAI 2021 scholarships and will receive monthly WAI Connect eNewsletters, and the digital version of Aviation for Women magazine.
“It’s important to note the Aviation for Girl app is not meant to take the place of our future face-to-face GIAD events, but rather to complement the big day beyond 2020,” adds Outreach Director Molly Martin. “We all agree that the app will extend the power of the day for the girls and help ignite their aviation spark in thousands. And, with year-round availability and a continuously growing library of content, we’ll be able to help keep that spark lit all across the world.”
Since WAI’s first annual international Girls in Aviation Day in 2015, the annual event has grown every year since its first gathering of 32 events and 3,200 participants. In 2019, GIAD had more than 20,000 attendees participating in 119 events in 18 countries.