Women continue to be under-represented in the aviation industry, with figures showing women account for just 6% of airline pilots and only 13% of aerospace engineers.
But there’s a whole lot of amazing people working hard to reach out to young girls and boys and inspire others to study STEM subjects and take up careers in this wonderful industry. AeroTime has been celebrating those people this week as part of International Women’s Day and to mark one year of its Women in Aviation campaign.
AeroTime launched its Women in Aviation Campaign in 2021, initially planning a week to dedicate to the achievements of women in the industry.
However, it became clear that a week was not enough and AeroTime has continued its work ever since. Across the AeroTime team, we aspire to use our global platform to help bring about change.
“We’ve brought together women and men from around the world to inspire and encourage the next generation of aviation professionals to join us in the industry we love,” declared AeroTime Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Richard Stephenson.
“I’ve seen far too many people pay lip service to these important issues so I’m backing our AeroTime team, our award recipients, our aviation champions and everyone else involved 100% to change the world.
“I’ve seen what can happen when people work together with positivity at the heart of their purpose and I truly believe that we will change the world for the better,” Stephenson predicts.
So far, AeroTime has proudly handed out 31 AeroTime Aviation Achievement Awards to those women, and men, who have helped inspire and support the efforts of women in aviation.
As award recipient Erika Armstrong said for AeroTime’s campaign anniversary: “It’s time for us to work together to create that strength amongst all of us. It’s not just about men versus women. It’s about understanding each other, bringing our strengths and weaknesses together.”
AeroTime Aviation Achievement Awards
The first recipient of an AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award this week was Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, one of Botswana’s first female military pilots and who is encouraging young people to take up STEAME subjects via her Dare To Dream foundation.
Captain Phatsima was probably one of the most excited people to receive her award and we’re delighted to have recognized her for her work.
“When women are given opportunities, amazing things happen,” Phatsima believes. “This award touches my heart to the core. It shows we really have to keep going, keep moving, keep changing our industry.”
Next to receive an award was Tammera L Holmes, who works tirelessly to help children from minority and under-represented backgrounds into careers in aviation.
“To receive this award on International Women’s Day is a real thrill and I just want to say to all women that we must keep on soaring as we have not yet reached our highest heights,” Tammera commented. “Remember that as we continue to soar higher and become more visible, the next generation will be even more encouraged to follow in your footsteps.”
Jill says she does so much outreach work, so that other women don’t have to struggle as much as she did to get a foothold in the aviation industry.
Susan was recognised for her work in aviation safety and training. As Stephenson commented: “She is not only an advocate for aviation safety, but a role model for the next generations she trains to be the very best professionals in the future.”
Nikki, Board Chair at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, helps to introduce people to the breadth of careers available in the aerospace industry. Her work has focused on introducing people in the industry to new technologies, supporting scholarship programs and inspiring younger generations to participate in STEM programs.
On March 8, 2022, AeroTime launched a new recognition program for aviation professionals, Aviation Champions. Aviation Champions will be recognized for their dedication to the industry and for their ongoing efforts to support, promote, encourage and inspire people across our industry.
The first recipient is Australian pilot Hunter McLeod, whose My Covid Story we shared last year.
Also being named as Aviation Champions this week were Aastha Kacha, a Space Architect and Founder of AAKA Space Studio, and Amanda Kandawire, who has set up a business selling educational toys that aim to get children interested in STEM subjects.
Stay tuned for more inspiring stories in the days to come! After all, one week is not enough.