61,000 rally for Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week 2018 to press for progress

12,408 Girls of All Ages Take Flight for the First Time

Participation in the 8th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week grew by more than 15% year-over-year reaching more than 61,000 in 2018.

The Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) received post-WOAW event reports from 179 organizers in 33 countries and validated 12,408 Fly It Forward® flight reports – reports submitted by women and girls who went on their first flight experience on a small aircraft from March 5 to 11.

Launched to celebrate the Centennial of the world’s first female pilot license earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910, the Fly It Forward® initiative aims to close the startling occupational gender gap in the air and space industry. 108 years after women’s official debut in the industry, the most iconic occupation, airline pilot, remains overwhelmingly male-dominated. Globally, less than 3% of commercial pilots are women.

iWOAW’s annual surveys show that 70-75% of women and girls participating had not even considered aviation as an option despite the prominence of some female role models in popular culture. Following their exposure to the industry’s multiple facets under iWOAW’s outreach guidelines, around 60% of them are looking into a career or hobby in the industry.

As part of iWOAW’s global Challenge, aviation professionals and enthusiasts introduce as many women and girls as possible to the multiple facets of the industry, hands-on. Since its inception, the extensive and comprehensive awareness-building effort has given such personal experience to 256,000 girls of all ages.

Its effectiveness is driving more and more industry stakeholders to help change the face of aviation during the Week and make the fair inclusion of women in its most financially rewarding careers, a priority.

“Empowering women and girls to dream beyond societal bonds is our aim during the Week,” said Mireille Goyer, iWOAW’s President. “So is pressing for progress in the industry. A definite industry culture shift must take place to ensure sustainable gender balance improvement.”

Besides reaching out to the female population on a personal level in women-friendly communities thanks to local gender balance advocates, iWOAW coordinates awareness building and mindset-shifting activities such the Pink Paper Plane Challenge and the WOAW Hunt Challenge to bridge geographical gaps and start the conversation.

Every year, iWOAW distributes Fly It Forward® Awards to the most dedicated communities and individuals based on the reports it receives. iWOAW will publish the name of the winners on the Week’s official website, www.WomenOfAviationWeek.org on March 24, 2018. The winners will receive their awards on May 31, 2018, during iWOAW’s Gender Balance Symposium in Toulouse, France.

2018 Fly It Forward® Award Ceremony in Toulouse, France

Béatrice Vialle, one of only 3 women to pilot the Concorde, the world’s only supersonic airliner

The Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) is delighted to announced that the 2018 Fly It Forward® Awards will be remitted to this year’s winners in Toulouse, France, on May 31, 2018 during iWOAW’s Gender Balance Symposium.

Béatrice Vialle, an active Air France pilot and one of only three women to have piloted the Concorde – the world’s only operational supersonic airliner – will be our keynote speaker as part of the award remittance ceremony.

Toulouse, a.k.a the Pink City because of its architecture, is considered the headquarters of modern European aviation. Its aeronautical roots run deep starting with Pierre-Georges Latécoère, an early aviation pioneer and the founder of the world’s first trans-continental airline.

iWOAW’s annual Gender Balance Symposium enables a much-needed conversation about the training and working environments that female newcomers will find, a subject central to the retention of female employees and career appeal.

The Fly It Forward® Awards reward the communities and individuals who take the annual Fly It Forward® Challenge and go well beyond the call of duty to introduce girls of all ages to the air and space industry and raise awareness as part of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 5-11, in 2018.

The Fly It Forward® Award categories include:

  • Most Female Friendly Airport Worldwide – for most documented Fly It Forward flights during the Week
  • Most Female Friendly Corporation Worldwide – for highest percentage of employees celebrating the Week
  • Most Female Friendly Association Worldwide – for highest percentage of members celebrating the Week
  • Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide – for female pilot who conducts the most documented Fly It Forward flights during the Week
  • Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide – for male pilot who conducts the most documented Fly It Forward flights during the Week
  • Most Productive Organizer Worldwide (events with flights & events without flights) – for organizer of an official (register) Week event who accumulates the most activity points
  • Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide (events with flights & events without flights) – for organizer of an official (register) Week event who receives the highest level of reviews by attendees and volunteers

 

Setting world records to raise awareness

Pink Paper Planes Guinness World Record

Because large and irrefutable numbers raise awareness, we are once again aiming to establish several Guinness World Records during #WOAW18. One attempt for most videos online to celebrate an event will document the many ways we celebrate Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week across the globe. The other, an attempt for most pink paper planes launched simultaneously in multiple venues will demonstrate our ability to unite across borders around a common cause.

Guinness World Record – Largest online celebration video competition

Every year, girls of all ages, volunteers, organizers turn on their video cameras to capture the most amazing moments of the Week and, every year, we offer prizes to the author of the “Video of the Week” and the competition’s finalists.

In 2018, we will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for most videos celebrating an event! We need at least 10,000 individual videos to establish a new world record.

We hope that every girl, every volunteer, every organizer will participate (one entry per participant). Together, we will create a amazing live collage of WOAW videos that will inspire the world!

Here is what you need to do to contribute to this Guinness World Record attempt:

  • Register on the Week’s website (free)
  • Create a video (min. 90s / max. 3 min) to show how you celebrate the Week (an event, a Pink Paper Plane launch, a Fly It Forward flight, a visit, an entry in the WOAW Hunt challenge, etc.)
  • Include your video in your activity report (girl, pilot, support, organizer) or as part of your WOAW Hunt entries before March 14, 2018

Turn on your smart phone camera. Show the world how you celebrate Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week!

Guinness World Record – Most Paper Planes Launched Simultaneously

Pink Paper Plane Day at AOPAWe needed 12,700 Pink Paper Planes launched simultaneously under the Guinness World Records rules to set a new record on March 8, 2017. With only 10,673 Pink Paper Planes launched on that day, we fell short. So we are trying again!

On March 8, 2018, Join corporations like Airbus and L3 and institutions like Wichita State University and Aviacion de Filipinas, Inc and help set a new Guinness World Record while raising awareness.

The rules are strict but pretty straight forward:

  • Register your planned event in our website
  • Ask participants to download, print, and fold a Pink Paper Plane
  • Provide a ticket to each participant for accountability purposes
  • Recruit independent witnesses
  • Install video cameras to monitor all parts of the secured area (no cut or editing)
  • Collect and save the tickets from each participant as they enter the secured area
  • At the proper time for your location, launch the Pink Paper Planes (keep the video cameras rolling and take lots of photos) and count how many Pink Paper Planes flew at the same time
  • Submit all the required proofs by reporting your event

Participating is a great way to get media attention, a cool corporate team building activity, and an effective way to raise awareness.

Complete details to participate are included in iWOAW’s Guinness Pink Paper Plane Activity Organizer Kit.

Two New Fly It Forward® Awards in 2018

Fly It Forward Awards

Fly It Forward AwardsThe Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) is proud to announce two additional award categories in its annual Fly It Forward® Challenge taking place during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week – Most Female Friendly Association Worldwide and Most Female Friendly Corporation Worldwide.

Launched to celebrate the Centennial of the world’s first female pilot licence on March 8, 2010, the Fly It Forward® initiative aims to close the startling occupational gender gap in the air and space industry. As part of the global Challenge, aviation professionals and enthusiasts introduce as many women and girls as possible to the multiple facets of the industry, hands-on.

To date, the extensive and comprehensive awareness-building effort has given such personal experience to 195,000 girls of all ages. The nine community and individual Fly It Forward® awards recognize the Challenge’s participants who achieve and document the highest level of participation.

In the new association category, not-for-profit corporations must organize at least one official activity and motivate as many members as possible to get involved as well. The association with the highest percentage of members reporting their involvement in the Week’s official website will win the Most Female Friendly Association Worldwide distinction.

Likewise in the corporation category, for-profit corporations must organize at least one official activity and encourage employees to participate in some tangible manner and report their actions before the Week’s reporting deadline. The company with the highest percentage of participating employees will win the world’s title in the corporation category.

“Over the years, many industry associations and corporations have done far more than declare their support for women during the week of March 8. They have flown it forward,” says Mireille Goyer, iWOAW’s Founder and President. “These new Fly It Forward® awards reward these industry trailblazers.”

53,000 Convened In 148 Venues Across The World To Celebrate WOAW Week 2017

View summary video

Fly It Forward flight in Bathurst, AustraliaAs part of the 7th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week (March 6-12), a broad range of aviation and space related activities specifically designed to engage and inform women and girls took place in 148 venues scattered across Africa, Asia, Europe, America, and Oceania.

53,000 jumped at the opportunity to visit local industry facilities, attend multi-faceted events, meet female role models, try various skills, hands-on, and check out static aircraft displays. Nearly one-fifth of the attendees 9,056 to be exact, went on a Fly It Forward® flight – an introductory flight for women and girls who have not previously flown on any small aircraft.

WOAW Event in Lachute, CanadaThe Week powered by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) aims to address the air and space’s industry deeply rooted gender imbalance by inviting girls of all ages to discover the industry’s careers and hobbies within a welcoming environment and familiarizing them with women’s past and present contributions.

Studies and iWOAW’s annual feedback surveys show that women and girls are unlikely to consider the industry’s technical careers traditionally presented as men’s jobs without an explicit invitation to do so.

Since 2010, iWOAW’s Fly It Forward® Challenge and Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiatives have successfully changed perceptions. For more than 80% of nearly 200,000 participants to date, the impact went beyond a perception shift; it was life changing. In fact, 64% are now considering a career or hobby in the industry.

Exploring aircraft during WOAW“My 11 yr old has wanted to go into the medical field,” reports Alicia Pino who was on a Fly It Forward® flight with her two daughters in Albuquerque, NM, USA. “Now, she is dead set on becoming a pilot for the hospitals.”

Simultaneously reaching out to thousands of women and girls without age or affiliation restrictions is a staple of the WOAW movement. Each year, iWOAW awards titles and trophies to individuals and organizations who excel at materializing its goals of engaging as many women and girls as feasible and offering them a quality experience.

Del Sol Aviation in Albuquerque, NM, USA, hosted a week-long event featuring multiple educative activities, a significant static aircraft display, and Fly It Forward® flights. No participating airport anywhere in the world introduced more women and girls to flying than Albuquerque International Sunport did. It wins the 2017 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide title. Runner ups in the airport category are the Lachute Airport, QC, Canada and the Brampton-Caledon Airport, ON, Canada.

Throughout the Week, Fly It Forward® pilots loaded up their aircraft with women and girls to give them a chance to experience flight. They flew paragliders, ultralights, airplanes, and helicopters for more than 900 hours collectively. To win any of this year’s pilot awards, pilots had to take off and land at least 20 times.

Dianna Stanger - Fly It Forward PilotNobody flew more girls of any age than helicopter pilot, Dianna Stanger. She completed more than 180 flights over seven days and introduced 925 women and girls to flying in Albuquerque, NM, USA. She wins the 2017 Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide title. But that’s not all; she also inspired other female pilots based at the airport to excel. First and second finalists in the category are Albuquerque pilots, Bobbie Lind and Susan Larson.

Meanwhile, Sylvain Cantan of Bozas, France, flew his ultralight almost non-stop for two days to win the 2017 Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide title. The podium also features Yves Barbeau of Lachute, QC, Canada, and Bernard Chirol of Étables, France.

The leaders who choose to rally their communities and empower women and girls during the Week are priceless. Investing upward from 200 hours of their personal time, they are the ones who bring amazing experiences to life.

Hosting a one-day event including a fully fledged conference, many industry booths, activities spanning across two airports and coordinating as many as 170 flight introductions per hour, Marguerite Varin of Lachute, QC, Canada is this year’s Most Productive Organizer Worldwide in the flying event category. Her counterpart in the non-flying event category is Terri Donner of Louisville, KY, USA, who coordinated a massive girl scout event with the help of her Ninety-Nines chapter and the local Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance chapter.

PreflightingSize is important but so is quality. iWOAW recognizes events with 50 or more attendees that deliver the highest reported level of satisfaction. Emma Bowley of Temora, NSW, Australia, hosted the flying event with the highest feedback ratings this year. She wins the Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide title in 2017 for that category. Vasif Yuceliş who spearheaded a series of non-flying events in Antalya, Turkey, wins the title in that category.

“What started in 2010 with just over 1,600 Fly It Forward® flights has grown to directly touch the lives of 53,000 within just one week span,” says Mireille Goyer, iWOAW Founder and President. “It is mind-boggling and very encouraging. We are on track to change the face of aviation.”

World record helicopter pilot Jennifer Murray will help remit the trophies to the winners at the Fly It Forward® Award Luncheon during iWOAW’s upcoming Symposium in Vancouver, BC, Canada, May 24-26.

Next year’s Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week will unfold from March 5 to 11. The theme will be “Speed Demons. 65 Years of Supersonic Women,” as a salute to Jacqueline Cochran’s 1953 supersonic flight onboard a borrowed Royal Canadian Air Force Sabre jet.