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National Women In Aerospace Day – May 20, 2023

National Women In Aerospace Day is observed each year in the United States on May 20 to encourage more women to pursue a career in aero engineering and aerospace. The day also celebrates women of the aerospace industry including those working in commercial aviation, defense, U.A.V.s, helicopters, and space. It is still an up-and-coming industry where women have made vital contributions. These women are an integral part of the industry and they should be celebrated! Some famous women in the aerospace industry are Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman, and Amelia Earhart, just to name a few! National Women In Aerospace Day celebrates all the women who have contributed and encourages more women to take up a profession in the industry.

History of National Women In Aerospace Day

National Women In Aerospace Day was created in August 2021 by Nikki Malcom, the CEO and Executive Director at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance and the 32nd recipient of the AeroTime Aviation Achievement Award in 2022. This day celebrates the women who have contributed and are contributing to the aerospace industry, as well as encouraging those who aspire to contribute in the future. This day also aims to create more access to women and girls by bringing to them the incredible achievements of women in the field.

Although women have flown since 1908, the fight to find a space working in the aerospace industry prior to 1970 is not easy. Each generation has played a role in breaking down new barriers and making careers in the military, commercial cockpits, laboratories, and space. From the first woman to earn her pilot’s license to the programmers who made the trip to the moon a reality, National Women In Aerospace Day applauds these achievements and hopes for more enthusiastic participation in the future.

In 1985, a pioneering and visionary group of women organized Women in Aerospace when they recognized the need for an organization to network within the aerospace industry. They also hope to increase their visibility in the sector, promote their achievements, and encourage more women to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Today, Women in Aerospace Day continues to be met with overwhelming success. Over 30 years since its establishment, the group now has over 2,000 individual members, representing 250 companies, including more than 80 corporate members. The group encourages the participation of both women and men. With joint efforts of Women in Aerospace and celebrations of National Women In Aerospace Day, the aerospace industry might eventually become truly inclusive.

National Women In Aerospace Day timeline

1911
The First U.S. Woman Pilot

The honor belongs to Harriet Quimby.

1934
The First Female Commercial Pilot

Central Airlines hires Helen Richey.

1936
The First Woman Fighter Pilot

Sabiha Gökçen becomes a Turkish aviator.

1963
The First Woman in Space

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman in space.

National Women In Aerospace Day FAQs

How many women are in the aerospace industry?

There are over 5,292 aerospace engineers currently employed in the United States. As of 2022, 11.2% of all aerospace engineers are women.

Are women allowed in aerospace engineering?

Women can very well pursue aeronautical engineering if they are inclined to pursue design, and analysis, among other things. There is considerable scope for such professionals in the aerospace industry.

Who was the first female aerospace engineer?

In 1938, Elsie MacGill became the first female aviation engineer in the world. She was Canadian.

How to Observe National Women In Aerospace Day

  1. Celebrate the women in aerospace

    Are you or a friend a woman in the aerospace industry? Celebrate your achievements on National Women In Aerospace Day. Go out for a drink, cheer each other on, and continue to support each other’s professional endeavors.

  2. Learn the history

    The road to a career in the aerospace industry hasn’t been easy. Observe National Women In Aerospace Day by learning the history of the industry and celebrating the pioneers in the field.

  3. Organize outreach programs

    A great way to celebrate National Women In Aerospace Day is by organizing outreach programs. Encourage young women to pursue a career in the aerospace industry and show them how to go about it.

5 Facts About Women In The Aerospace Industry

  1. Female participation remains abysmally low

    The global average of women in the aerospace industry is approximately 20%.

  2. Women’s involvement in aircraft and spacecraft manufacturing

    Women constitute only 26% of the workforce globally.

  3. Female aerospace engineers are low in number

    They make up only 9% of the global total number of aerospace engineers employed.

  4. Women serving in executive leadership roles

    Only 19% of the leaders in aerospace and defense in the United States are women.

  5. Zara Rutherford is an inspiration at 19

    She is the youngest female pilot to fly solo around the world.

Why National Women In Aerospace Day is Important

  1. It celebrates achievements

    National Women In Aerospace Day is a much-needed day to celebrate all the wonderful achievements of women in the past and present within the aerospace industry. It also encourages women to take up careers in the industry.

  2. To level the playing field

    One of the aims of National Women In Aerospace Day is also to fix the skewed male-to-female sex ratio in the aerospace industry. With outreach programs, more and more women find themselves wanting to work in the industry.

  3. We are inspired by humankind’s incredible feats

    Finding out a way to fly to and visit outer space are two of the most remarkable feats achieved by humankind for humankind. National Women In Aerospace Day is also a celebration of science, technology, and innovation.

National Women In Aerospace Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 20Saturday
2024May 20Monday
2025May 20Tuesday
2026May 20Wednesday
2027May 20Thursday

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