Girls around the world participated in the 9th Annual Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) organized by Women in Aviation International (WAI) on 23 September. Through unique local events hosted by WAI chapters and corporate members, the number of GIAD participants more than doubled to over 30,000 compared with 16,000 attendees at GIAD 2022. The number of countries where events were held grew to 31 countries this year versus 19 countries last year. The number of events also increased to 168 events compared with over 120 last year.
Girls in Aviation Day is part of a multi-faceted international youth STEM education program designed by Women in Aviation International to inspire girls to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace. The program, called Aviation for Girls, includes the GIAD events, as well as free Junior memberships in WAI for youth ages eight to 18, Aviation for Girls magazine, and an app featuring monthly webinars, aviation STEM education activities, videos of female aviators highlighting various careers and aviation books, virtual tours of museums, and airports, information about WAI scholarships, and a timeline of WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees.
“Our Girls in Aviation Day events are designed to spark girls’ interest in aviation and aerospace while learning science, technology, engineering, and math subjects in an interactive, fun format,” says WAI Interim CEO Stephanie Kenyon. “Working together with our industry partners, donors, and sponsors, we are creating a pipeline of talented women who will one day lead aviation and aerospace into the future.”
Girls in Aviation Day events took place at airports, FBOs, museums, and hangars across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Girls were introduced to the career and lifestyle possibilities in aviation and aerospace by meeting female role models, listening to career panels, and exploring airplanes and airports. In addition, girls participated in a wide array of hands-on, educational activities ranging from sectional chart treasure hunts, first flights on simulators, learning about aircraft engines, avionics, and exploring weather systems and space.
The one-day experience continues year-round with hours of educational content available on the Aviation for Girls app, which has already been downloaded by over 2,000 users in 56 countries. More than 4,000 youth have already become Junior members of WAI.