Women in Aviation Week is celebrated annually during the week of March 8 and this year it will be held from March 4 to 10. The aviation industry consists of various activities and industries relating to aircraft and air traffic control. Most aircraft in aviation are utilized for air travel or military warfare. Women of Aviation Worldwide is a global aviation awareness week held for women and young girls to commemorate the issuance of the first female pilot’s license, which took place in 1910. WOAW is also a means to address gender discrimination in the aviation industry.
History of Women in Aviation Week
Aviation history goes as far back as over 2,000 years. In the early days of aviation, kites, hot air balloons, and heavier-than-air jets were popular. Kite flying is alleged to be one of the first examples of man-made flight. During the nineteenth century, aeronautics was the rave. People used hot air balloons, airships, and gliders before the airplanes we know today.
By 1903, advancements had been made in aviation, and by December 12, the first Airplane, ‘Kitty Hawk,’ took flight for about 12 seconds at 37 meters. The Airplane was commandeered by the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur in North Carolina. This event impacted the world of aviation, as decades later, new aircraft were created to aid transportation of people, goods, and services, and later on, space flight. Up until 1910, the Aviation Industry was considered a male-dominated industry. Gender discrimination was glaring, and women fought tooth and nail to prove their competence. Women have made significant contributions to the advancement of aviation, beginning with the first woman to fly a hot air balloon in 1754 and continuing with the first licensed female pilot in 1910.
The Women of Aviation Worldwide Week commemorate the licensing of the first female pilot as a first step in addressing gender discrimination in the industry. In 2010, a pilot and aviation instructor, Mireille Goyer, launched the ‘Fly it Forward’ initiative to encourage more pilots worldwide to introduce girls of all ages to aviation. Mireille used this initiative to address women’s lack of aviation activity exposure. With the Fly It Forward initiative, the goal is to see more women in all facets of aviation as hoped by pioneering female pilots. By 2011, this event evolved into Women’s Aviation Week.
Women in Aviation Week timeline
On March 8, 1910, Raymonde de Larche becomes the world’s first female licensed pilot.
Willa Brown becomes the first African-American female pilot and Civil Air Patrol officer.
The number of licensed female pilots in the U.S. increases from 12,400 to 30,000.
Ahrohi Pandit makes history as the first female pilot to fly across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Greenland Ice Sheets.
The Women of Aviation Worldwide Week Campaign Celebrates its tenth anniversary with over 76,000 event participants and 3,500 volunteers.
Women in Aviation Week FAQs
What Airline has the highest number of female pilots?
Air India is the airline with the leading amount of female pilots in the world.
Who is the most famous Female Pilot?
The Late Amelia Earhart is the most famous female pilot. She was the first solo female pilot to fly across the Atlantic ocean.
What percentage of pilots are women?
About 3.4% of airplane pilots are women.
How to Observe Women in Aviation Week
Participate in a challenge
The Women of Aviation Worldwide holds multiple challenges during the WOAW. You can celebrate by taking part in any of these challenges. Head over to the Women of Aviation Week website for more information.
Join in the movement
Join in the celebration by taking part in the Fly it Forward initiative. Enjoy exclusive introductory flight lessons in a small aircraft by trained female pilots.
Volunteer your time and expertise
Volunteer yourself and your time to this cause. Start fundraisers or visit the women of aviation week website for more information.
5 Facts About Women Of Aviation
They have their own name
Women aviators are also known as aviatrices.
They make up a small percentage
Women make up about 6.4% of the Aviation industry worldwide.
First International Licensed Female pilot
The African-American female pilot, Bessie Coleman, received an international pilot license in 1921
The most flying hours by a female
Nicknamed ‘mama bird,’ Evelyn Stone Bryan holds the Guinness world record for the female pilot with the most logged flying hours with 57,635.4 hours.
Youngest solo female pilot
Zara Rutherford set a Guinness world record as the youngest solo female pilot in 2022, flying 199 days around the globe.
Why Women in Aviation Week is Important
Celebrates the Past
The Women of Aviation Worldwide week remembers and celebrates the past. It honors the pioneers of women in aviation.
The Women of Aviation Worldwide week seeks to encourage and empower young girls to pursue careers in aviation. They prove that it is possible to thrive in this male-dominated industry.
The women of aviation week create awareness of the issue of gender discrimination in the Aviation Industry. It speaks of the need for more women to seek out roles in the industry.
Women in Aviation Week dates