My summer with Elevate Aviation: working to help women ‘fly’ through the glass ceiling

A lot of us have been there.  We’re waiting to taxi the runway about to take off and we’re listening to the flight attendant on the intercom introduce the flight crew.  We learn that the captain is a female pilot.  There’s always someone in listening proximity that you can hear say “oh, a woman pilot.  Interesting.”  I’ve heard stories of people even getting off of their plane upon learning that their captain is a female.

That’s where Elevate Aviation comes into the picture.  This is a group of women (and men) who are working to encourage and support females in the field of aviation and aerospace.   According to The Airman Database,  women in the aviation industry only make up on average 6% of the total pilot population where 1% are female pilots in Egypt and 12% are female pilots in France.

Elevate inspires future aviation careers with their own stories as most of the volunteers are currently working in aviation in some capacity.  Their dedication with Elevate knows no bounds which is evident in their event schedule for the year.

Two most recent events that they held were their 1st Annual Golf Tournament at the Blackhawk Golf Club which raised funds towards their bursary program for future aviation enthusiasts and the Elevate float at the K-Days Parade.   A lot of planning goes into these events however, this determined and inspiring group of women work very hard to raise support for women in aviation.

At first, I wasn’t sure what I could offer Elevate for my stretch experience.  I had no idea what I would be able to help with.  However, after my first sit-down with the executive members I left with  a list of different tasks that included grant application, website design, mentorship recommendations, event-planning, networking for sponsorships. . . the list goes on.  A lot of the work that needs to be done includes increasing networking and support and improving on communication with current and prospective members.  This will help ensure that Elevate can continue their work into the coming years and even increase the level of support to women in the industry.

Thankfully, a lot of what we learned last year in our PLLC curriculum is helping me be creative with these tasks and give some fresh input on how they can be done.  Our sections in communication and gender equality our always on the forefront of my mind when approaching my to-do list.  At the end of the day my focus is on answering the question: How can we increase women numbers in the aviation industry?

Equality in the workplace is an ongoing battle in many different work environments.  Elevate Aviation is working to help women fly through that glass ceiling and achieve their goals in their aviation careers.

Over and Out,

Meghan V.

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