iWOAW fosters gender balance in the air and space industry
The Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) – a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Vancouver, Canada – leads an industry alliance counting more than 10,000 industry professionals and enthusiasts plus nearly 600 Certified Women Friendly organizations representing all sectors of the industry in 44 countries on 5 continents. The group is dedicated to fostering gender balance thus, growth, in the air and space industry.
By studying and addressing the behaviors and attitudes that effectively exclude women, iWOAW has established a proven track record of developing creative, innovative, and engaging initiatives that change perceptions, motivate action, and deliver results. Its multi-pronged approach to gender balance advancement features a blend of outreach, education, and advocacy designed to steer women towards the industry then steer them towards success.
Per bylaws stipulation, iWOAW is directed by an all-volunteer international and gender balanced Board of Directors.
Mission, Vision and Core Values
To foster gender balance in the air and space industry through outreach, education, and advocacy.
- To celebrate the contributions and achievements of past and current women of the air and space industry around the world.
- To promote the air and space industry among the female population; and to change the attitudes and behaviors that lead to women’s exclusion.
- To develop programs which provide girls and women an opportunity to become empowered, motivated, and capable of succeeding in the air and space industry as well as programs to facilitate the inclusion, well being, and success of women in the industry.
- To collaborate with, and educationally support, other organizations.
We will lead the shift to a more gender balanced air and space industry where men and women will thrive in harmony and parity.
Our Founder and President
After earning a DEUG in Math-Physics at the Université de Poitiers, France, Mireille Goyer moved to the United States, to study Computer Graphic Design at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Upon graduation, she started her professional career as a corporate communication consultant, producing multimedia presentations for large live corporate events in North America and Europe.
Soon thereafter, Goyer began to learn to fly for pleasure. Her new hobby quickly turned into a passion and led her to earn a commercial pilot certificate promptly followed by ground and flight instructor certificates. Goyer began to develop multimedia pilot training programs and founded her first corporation headquartered in France with a branch in the United States in the mid 1990’s. Goyer moved to Canada, in 2005 and continued to mass educate by developing courses.
Goyer has flown several thousand hours in single and multi-engine airplanes in multiple countries and holds U.S. and Canadian Airline Transport Pilot licences. She writes a column for Canadian Aviator magazine and volunteers as an FAA Safety Team Representative.
As an engaged and dedicated female pilot, Goyer was stunned to discover that no one had planned a celebration for the centennial of the first female pilot license worldwide in 2010. Going back to her communication roots, she launched a grassroots initiative, asking pilots worldwide to ‘Fly It Forward®‘ as a salute to the first aviatrixes. That initiative morphed into the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative in 2011. Both initiatives are responsible for thousands girls and women discovering aviation and flight in a small aircraft in 44 countries on 5 continents. Goyer has received several national and international awards for her efforts. She is the founder of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW).
Mireille Goyer’s awards:
In late 2009, Mireille Goyer, an airline pilot and aviation educator, conducted a search for planned events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot license worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910. To her dismay, she found none.
Determined to not let this important milestone for female pilots go unnoticed, Goyer launched a worldwide campaign. Her goal was to celebrate the female aviation pioneers of 1910 by fulfilling their dream to see more women involved.
She encouraged pilots from around the world to “Fly It Forward®” (i.e., introduce a girl or a woman to flying in a small aircraft). As a result, over 1,600 girls and women discovered the joys of flying in thirty six countries on four continents throughout 2010.
Understanding that the limited number of female pilots explained in part the industry’s oversight and that a key barrier to women’s participation in the air and space industry is the common perception that the field is ‘for men’, Goyer launched the annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative in 2011 to continue the outreach effort born during the centennial celebration.
The initiative aims to foster gender balance in the air and space industry. It celebrates women’s historical contributions, raises awareness of aviation’s opportunities for women and girls, and sparks vocations in the female population thanks to an industry-wide effort to introduce women and girls to aviation, hands-on.
As of March 2017, 195,000 have directly participated in the annual celebrations and 39,130 documented Fly It Forward® flights have been granted to girls and women on five continents. Significant media coverage in association with the week’s activities has allowed many more to become aware that this exciting industry is for women too.
Reaching out to women is only the first step to increase gender balance in the air and space industry. Making it easier for those who are interested to succeed is an equally important step.
The Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) was incorporated on September 10, 2012, with the goal of continuing advocacy and outreach efforts and increasing their efficiency by complementing them with research and educational initiatives aimed at facilitating the integration of women in the industry.