Women in Aviation Week
March 9, 2021
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (WOAW) is a global aviation awareness week for women to mark the anniversary of the world’s first female pilot license (March 8, 1910). The week is a call to address gender imbalance in the air and space industry. Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2021 will take place across the world from March 8 to 14, 2021.
In January 2010, Mireille Goyer, an airline-rated pilot and aviation educator, launched an International grassroots initiative to celebrate the centennial of the first female pilot license worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910.
Determined to not let this important milestone for female pilots and other women in aviation jobs go unnoticed, Goyer launched a worldwide week-long campaign. Her goal was to honor the female aviation pioneers of 1910 by working towards fulfill their dream to see more women involved in aviation careers through various groups that focus on women in aviation.
One such group is Women in Aviation (WAI). WAI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. WAI diverse membership includes astronauts, corporate and airline pilots, maintenance technicians, engineers, air traffic controllers, business owners, educators, journalists, flight attendants, high school and university students, air show performers, airport managers, and many others.
WAI is one of many groups that showcases leaders in the aviation field who strive to encourage, empower, and educate all those whose interests, lives, and work involve aviation and aerospace without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, or point of view.
Besides celebrating and promoting Women in Aviation week, WAI provides year-round resources to assist women in aviation and to encourage young women to consider aviation as a career. WAI also offers educational outreach programs to educators, aviation industry members, and young people nationally and internationally.
In addition, WAI promotes public understanding of the accomplishments and contributions of women in aviation. This includes historic notables such as Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Eileen Collins, Jeana Yeager, Nicole Malachowski and many others.
When it comes to honoring women in aviation there are few more memorable than the Fab Five. The founders of our Union, AFA; Sally Watt, First Secretary, Edith Lauterbach, First Treasurer, Francis Hall, Vice President, Shirley Thometz, Negotiator, and Ada Brown, President, came together in solidarity to fight for their rights as Flight Attendants and as women in the workforce.
Together these leaders negotiated our first contract, securing a substantial pay raise, setting a limit on duty hours, set rest periods, and established a grievance procedure. They singlehandedly began the wave of change that evolved a short-term job into a lifelong career as a First Responder. The changes they fought for improved the careers and quality of life for everyone in our industry.
We all continue to build on their labors and honor their bravery and sacrifices to give us the opportunities we share today.