Hundreds of women and girls are being given the chance to learn about aviation this weekend in an event that organizers hope will change perceptions and encourage more of them to enter the field.
The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! is a free event taking place at the Langley Regional Airport and it’s happening during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, and on International Women’s Day.
From 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. young girls are encouraged to ride in a helicopter, explore aircraft, meet the crews and hopefully be encouraged to pursue a flight path.
“If you always see a guy doing a specific job like flying a helicopter or an airplane or you see a guy at the airport, it just doesn’t occur to you that you can be in that position,” said Kirsten Brazier, The Sky’s No limit Girls – Fly Too founder.
“So when we bring them here to meet women like myself and the amazing ladies we have here, it’s also to get them in the door and show them it’s a friendly place.”
According to the Government of Canada, the percentage of women in aviation and aerospace is low. Less than two per cent are aircraft maintenance engineers, less than six per cent are commercial pilots, and less than three per cent of the Royal Canadian Air Force are women.
But those that are drawn to this type of career, love it.
“I think we are underrepresented, and we’ve had a lot of opportunities come up in more recent years but I think women and girls need to take up the opportunities we’ve been given,” said Capt. Carly Cake, RCAF pilot.
“But we could definitely use more women in aviation.”
Ironically this event is happening the same week a female WestJet pilot received a note from a male passenger saying “the cockpit of an airline is no place for woman.”
That’s why organizers say this event is important, it offers everyone an opportunity to see dreams soar regardless of your gender.
~with files from Jennifer Palma