44,000 gathered in 120 venues on 4 continents during WOAW Week 2016

Fly It Forward

120 venues in Africa, America, Europe, and Oceania hosted activities aimed at advancing gender balance in the air and space industry during the 6th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, a global aviation awareness week for girls of any age, founded and managed by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW). 44,000 participated.

With 27 venues, France led the way for most venues in one single country closely followed by Turkey with 26. The United States, Canada, and Australia join the top 5 countries, venue-wise. New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Angola, and Guyana celebrated The Week for the first time.

Roughly half of the official activities were organized by flight schools and flying clubs. Noticeable was the increase in aerospace factory visits, control tower tours, aviation university department open houses, and aviation museums special event offerings.

Pink Paper Plane Day at L-3 MASOn Pink Paper Plane Day, March 8, 1,343 individuals working in teams ranging from 15 to over 500 built 11,447 Pink Paper Planes within 15 minutes towards iWOAW’s Guinness World Records attempts.

Flight is the end product of and the motivation for all air and space careers. The Fly It Forward® Challenge is a call to action urging pilots to help close the wide flight introduction gap between genders by introducing girls of all ages to flight during The Week. This year, 8,418 girls discovered flying as part of the initiative.

The annual friendly competition powered by human goodness recognizes airport communities and individual pilots who introduce the greatest number of girls to flight in small aircraft annually.

FlyItForward_Flight_Edingburg_TexasIn 2016, South Texas International at Edinburg Airport, USA, wins The Challenge’s most coveted title, “Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide”. Dianna Stanger of Texas, USA, is named “Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide” and Yves Barbeau of Quebec, Canada, “Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide”.

Runner-ups include Canada’s Lachute and Peterborough airports in the airport category, American Yasmina Platt and Canadian Ingrid Kutzner in the female pilot category, and Canadians Hubert Wren and Ron Haslam in the male pilot category.

Organizers of large events invest countless organizational hours to bring their planned activity to fruition. iWOAW awards “Most Productive Organizer Worldwide” titles annually to individuals who produce the largest multi-faceted flying or non-flying events. Marguerite Varin of Lachute, Quebec, Canada, won the title in the flying event category and Tusas Engine Industries Inc. (TEI) of Eskisehir, Turkey, in the non-flying event category.

JC16_52Large events constitute only 20% of The Week’s direct outreach. Smaller community-building activities with special attention to quality generate the type of local and connected buzz that has the power to generate significant societal change.

Thanks to its proprietary assessment system, iWOAW identifies The Week’s activities that most effectively engage guests while generating high satisfaction levels among its volunteers. It uses these measurements to award the “Most Acclaimed Organizer Worldwide” titles. The awards go to Central West Flying of Bathurst, Australia, in the flying event category and Can Erel of Ankara, Turkey, in the non-flying event category.

Trophies will awarded to the winners on May 26th 2016 in Vancouver, Canada, during iWOAW’s first annual symposium.

Aicraft_Tour_Antalya_TurkeySince 2010, the annual celebration has inspired girls and women to consider careers and hobbies in the air and space industry by the thousands. Consistently, 60% to 75% of them declare that they have decided to join the industry as a result of attending The Week’s activities.

With mostly stagnating women of aviation populations, inspiring is not enough. The goal is to encourage tangible action. Our survey show that 23% are more than just inspired; they are starting their training, immediately.

WOAW. Fly It Forward“I had never flown before–and was afraid of heights. Now, I want to take lessons to learn how to fly by myself.” Lily Wright said after her Glastar flight in Louisiana, USA.

The 7th Annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week will be held March 6-12, 2017.

30 years after the world’s first helicopter flight in 1907, Hanna Reitsch became the first woman to pilot a helicopter. To salute her accomplishment, The Week’s 2017 theme will be: “Let’s whirl. 80 years of female helicopter pilots.”

Number Of Activities To Celebrate Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week Doubles In 2016

More than 100 activities tailored to raise awareness of aviation’s diverse opportunities among girls of all ages unfolded on 4 continents during the 6th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week.

More than 100 activities, twice as many as in 2015, unfolded in Africa, America, Europe, and Oceania during the 6th annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, a global aviation awareness week for girls of any age, founded and managed by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW).

FlyItForward_Flight_Edinburg_TexasThe outreach part of the initiative is designed to spark aviation vocations within the female population and improve gender balance in the air and space industry. It resolves around offering girls and women not familiar with the industry, a chance to experience various aviation activities, hands-on, as well as meet today’s women of aviation face to face to learn about the reality of various careers from a woman’s perspective.

Early survey results among the guests indicate that, while 26% of them had thought ‘aviation’ before, only 16% had dared visiting an aviation facility prior to attending the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week event.

Aviation enthusiasts, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to actuate change locally by organizing community-based activities for girls as part of the global effort.

In 2016, roughly half of the official activities were organized by flight schools and flying clubs. Noticeable was the increase in aerospace factory visits, control tower tours, aviation university department open houses, and aviation museums special event offerings. The military had a visible presence at many of the larger events.

“The girls loved it and were so inspired and inspiring!” said Robin Guillian who organized an official activity in Burlington, Vermont. “The feedback from the community, parents, and volunteers was amazing. I loved being a part of a global initiative!”

“I had the best time of my life! This is from far the best experience I ever had. Thanks a lot to all the persons that gave me the opportunity to discover my new passion,” said Yocasta C. who attended the Lachute / Montreal event in Quebec.

Resultats_smlThe Week’s effort is not limited to engaging girls and women. iWOAW also encourages aerospace businesses to examine the gender balance in their workforce and celebrate their successes in furthering the advancement of women within the industry.

“We have come a long way since I spread headed this social movement in 2010,” said Mireille Goyer, President of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW). “The number of flights with all-female flight crew taking place during The Week was remarkable and so was the number of aerospace companies such as SAFRAN Aircelle, L-3 MAS, Nav Canada, Airservices Australia who participated in our March 8 Pink Paper Plane Day.”

More than 50,000 were expected to participate in The Week’s various activities. Actual attendance and Fly It Forward® flights numbers will be announced on March 21, 2016 along with the final survey details and the names of the annual Fly It Forward® Challenge award winners.