- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport
- Year Founded:
- Star Alliance
- Scott Kirby
- United States
In celebration of the 8th annual Girls in Aviation Day, United Airlines (United) has been busy coordinating multiple events across the United States for girls aged between 12 and 18 interested in pursuing a career within the industry.
Leading the way
With the support of Ohio-based non-profit Women in Aviation International, local groups and schools, the legacy carrier hosted open days in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Houston to promote careers across the sector, from engineering and tech to leadership and flight operations.
This year’s largest event, hosted in Houston, welcomed more than 30 students from across the city to its Hangar X facility. This gave the girls an opportunity to sample different roles and tour one of the carriers’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets alongside a panel discussion with United’s best and brightest female employees.
The group was joined by the city’s Vice Mayor Martha Castex and Space Centre Houston’s director of Experiential Learning Kathleen Swain.
“I participate in Girls in Aviation every year; it’s that important to me,” Kristen Self, assistant manager for United’s Houston-based ramp operations, told the Houston Chronicle. “We wanted to give them an experience where they can see many different faces of the airline.”
“I’ve flown with one other woman in my entire professional airline career, so I think that shows that there’s room to grow,” added veteran United pilot Lucinda Kotter. “This event inspires them and helps them to think about where they see themselves in the future.”
According to the FAA, women account for just 7% of commercial pilots within the United States, with an additional 30.2% covering non-pilot roles, including mechanics, engineers, and flight attendants.
Into the future
Launched in 2015 by Women in Aviation, the Girls in Aviation Day on September 24 has grown from a gathering of 32 events and 3,200 participants to 120 international events for over 16,000 girls aged between eight and eighteen.
2022’s Girls in Aviation Day saw a wide array of events backed by United, SkyWest Airlines, the US Air Force, Alaska Airlines, and GE Aviation.
Over 16,000 girls across the globe attended events in honor of this year’s Girls in Aviation Day. Source: WIA
To commemorate this year’s events, Women in Aviation has relaunched its Aviation for Girls app to adapt the learning experience for its Gen Z cohort, making the industry accessible to over 100,000 children worldwide.
Available on Apple and Android devices, the app features a wide range of content, from hands-on activities, virtual tours, interviews, and scholarship information to the digital version of the Aviation for Girls magazine.
“We know that introducing the next generation to positive female models in all areas of aviation will help move the needle to break barriers for women in all aviation and aerospace careers,” noted Women in Aviation CEO Allison McKay.
“With the generous support of WAI corporate sponsors and dedicated WAI chapters and corporate members, we’ll deliver the experience of a lifetime that opens doors of previously unimagined opportunity in aviation and aerospace for girls around the globe.”
The non-profit is currently welcoming under-18s with a keen interest in aviation and STEM with free junior membership. Further information is available on Women in Aviation’s website.
What airlines would you like to see celebrating next year’s Girls in Aviation Day? Let us know in the comments.
Sources: KPRC, The Houston Chronicle