Two New Fly It Forward® Awards in 2018

The 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

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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.

More Than 50,000 Girls Set To Discover Aviation During Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week 2017

Girls and women visit control towers

March 6 to 12, industry enthusiasts and key stakeholders will unite to welcome girls and women in their facilities and encourage them to explore the sector’s careers and hobbies, hands-on.

Girls and women visit control towersDuring the 7th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 6 to 12, the air and space industry will shade its enduring male-dominated image. Girls and women will be the majority at industry facilities such as airports, aerospace factories, and control towers where industry enthusiasts and key stakeholders are putting the final touches on events designed to attract and empower them.

In fact, more than 50,000 girls and women are expected to attend the Week’s official events spread out across four continents – America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. They will meet women who chose a career in the industry, learn about past women of aviation’s contributions, visit various work environments, and try some of the activities, hands-on, including flying in small aircraft at some locations.

Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week is an extension of the original Fly It Forward® movement launched in 2010 to celebrate the Centennial of the world’s first pilot female licence earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910 – long before women began to march for voting rights on that very day. It aims to not only celebrate women’s accomplishments at a historically and socially relevant time of the year but also address the industry’s introduction gender gap and overall lack of gender balance by raising awareness.

Today, a boy is still three times more likely than a girl to be exposed to aviation opportunities. Industry enthusiasts and key stakeholders are uniting across borders and affiliations to ensure that girls and women get the invite and the front row seat during the Week.

Since its inception, the initiative powered the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) has motivated more 140,000 girls of all ages to explore the industry’s careers and hobbies. Last year, 63% of the 44,000 participants declared considering a career or hobby in the industry as a result of the positive experience.

In 2017, iWOAW is offering $15,000 worth of prizes, trophies, and scholarships to eligible participants. Furthermore, the non-profit association is waiving application fees for organizations involved in official events which seek the coveted iWOAW Certified Women Friendly designation.

Mireille Goyer, iWOAW’s Founder and President, will attend four of the Week’s official events. She will be at Del Sol Aviation in Albuquerque, NM, on March 6, at the Airbus Assembly Plant in Mobile, AL, on March 8, at the Louisiana Regional Airport in Gonzales, LA, on March 9, and at Glacier Air in Squamish, BC on March 11.

World-Record Female Helicopter Pilot to Help Remit the 2017 Fly It Forward® Awards

Jennifer Murray – first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter and first woman to fly above both poles – will be the Keynote Speaker at the Fly It Forward® Award Luncheon in Vancouver, Canada

We are proud to announce that Jennifer Murray – first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter and first woman to fly above both poles – will help remit trophies to the winners of the 2017 Fly It Forward® Challenge that will take place during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 6-12.

Launched in 2010 to celebrate the centennial of the world’s first female pilot license earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910, the annual global Fly It Forward® competition challenges pilots from across the world to invite girls of any age to experience flight onboard a small aircraft.

The global initiative aims to address a glaring flight introduction gender gap. In 2017, a boy is still 3 times as likely as a girl to be encouraged to try flying.

“All aviation vocations begin with a passion for flight,” said Mireille Goyer, the airline-rated pilot who founded the initiative. “It is that passion that drives individuals to chose a career in the air and space industry.”

The Fly It Forward® titles and trophies reward the individuals and communities who document introducing the most girls and women to the sensations of flight in any small aircraft during the annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week. Categories include airport communities, pilots, and organizers.

In 2016, pilots flew more than 1,500 hours – equivalent to four around-the-word flights – to conduct 8,418 Fly It Forward® flights in aircraft ranging from balloons to ultralights to airplanes to helicopters. To win, communities routinely introduces hundreds to thousands of girls and women to flight during the Week.

“The Challenge’s titles reward pure human goodness articulated into tangible efforts to foster a more diverse and inclusive industry,” said Mireille Goyer.

This year, as the world celebrates 80 years of female helicopter pilots, Fly It Forward® Challenge winners will receive their trophies at the May 25 Fly It Forward® Award Luncheon in Vancouver, Canada, featuring Jennifer Murray as the keynote speaker.

“I am touched and honoured that you should ask me to be your keynote speaker. All that you are doing for gender equality in aviation is wonderful and very close to my heart. Indeed, it was one of the principal motivations for my global flights,” shared Jennifer Murray.

Celebrating 80 Years of Female Helicopter Pilots in 2017

Jennifer Murray, World Record Holding Helicopter Pilot
Jennifer Murray, World Record Holding Helicopter Pilot

It was 1937 when Hanna Reitsch took the controls of a Focke-Achgelis 61 helicopter and became the world’s first female helicopter pilot. In celebration, the theme for the 7th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 6-12, 2017, will be “Let’s whirl. 80 years of female helicopter pilots.”

Introducing girls of all ages to helicopters has always been an important part of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week. Since 2010, nearly 20% of the Week’s 30,074 documented Fly It Forward® flights took place onboard helicopters.

Male and female helicopter pilots from Quebec, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Washington State, and Texas have won the Week’s Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide or Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide titles over the years. Every year in Lachute, Quebec, girls board helicopters for their first small aircraft flight and land at the Bell Helicopter factory in Mirabel to visit it. The armed forces around the globe have flown helicopters and crew at many of the Week’s events over the years.

To celebrate Hanna Reitsch’s breakthrough and highlight helicopter aviation, the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) will broadcast interviews of women involved in all aspects of helicopter manufacturing and operations throughout the Week and encouraged event organizers to share them with their local guests.

Moreover, Jennifer Murray, who became the first woman to fly around the world in a helicopter and the first woman to fly over both poles, will be the featured guest speaker at the annual Fly It Forward® Award Luncheon during the iWOAW Symposium held in Vancouver, BC, on May 25, 2017. She will also help remit the Fly It Forward® Challenge trophies to the communities and individuals who won them during the 7th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week.

“When I launched the Fly It Forward® movement in 2010, it was to celebrate the centennial of the world’s first female pilot license in a meaningful way,” says Mireille Goyer, iWOAW’s Founder and President. “By selecting a theme based on women’s notable breakthroughs every year, iWOAW continues its tradition of celebrating women’s long and rich history of contributions to the industry and furthers its effort of restoring women’s aviation roots.”

Fly It Forward® Challenge winners will receive free access to the entire iWOAW Symposium. The 2017 edition features industry key stakeholders such as Deborah Feng, Associate Center Director, Mission Support, at NASA Ames Research Center and Aylin Ararat, Aircraft Designer and Project Director for Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. and academics such as JoAnne Delfino Wehner of Stanford University and Catharine Marsden of Concordia University.