The WiAT (Women in Aviation Training) community came together in person for the first time at WATS 2024 on Wednesday during an early morning breakfast session titled: "Meet the 1%".

Launched in November 2023, WiAT is a collaborative community with a goal of providing practical solutions to encourage and advance women in the aviation training space. An inaugural meeting was held at EATS in Cascais, and the online community forum now has nearly 1,000 members offering a private space for discussion, development and networking.

The breakfast session, sponsored by VTR (Visionary Training Resources), was led by Halldale’s Allyson Kukel, with a panel including Captain Marnie Munns, FRAeS, Captain Evey Cormican, and Captain Morgan Bennett., facilitated by FO Michael Schmidt.

The session showcased the diversity and backgrounds, even in a room of 100+ people, within the aviation training community and as the panel shared their stories, their pathways to instructor level roles were starkly different.

What was consistent though, was how there is no singular method or route to instructor level careers. As the panel uncovered their career stories, a number of themes arose, perhaps obvious, but not implemented, or supported to the level needed to ensure parity and success. The career pathway in aviation training is not transparent, not promoted and in many cases not part of any formal structure.

The opening statement reinforced the importance of developing a community together and how collaboration and leadership level support was critical to bringing about change.

Awareness and retention were two areas that the additional roundtable discussions focussed on identifying mentorship, both cross organisation and cross functional and the provision of strong role models as a successful and implementable methods to empower and enable an instructor career pathway.

Meet The 1%; WiAT Lands At WATS

The conversations went beyond just instructor level career choice though, identifying how creating diverse teams brings new perspectives and ideas, how shifting mindsets to being a role model whether or not you are technical or non-technical, and how support and help with pushing forward colleagues to encourage career growth and acceptance play critical roles in expanding women in the training community.

Conversations continued to explore how to further encourage schools to promote aviation as a career choice, and empowering individuals to get involved with training at an early stage in their careers, to making teaching/training an integral part of behaviour.

Providing opportunity is not about an individual approach but sits at an organisational level, career paths need to be more visible, we need flexibility, feedback built into process, but we each have a part to play as individuals too.  Empower colleagues, push boundaries and encourage each other outside our comfort zones, be a role model, act as a mentor, instill your values into your networks.

Hopefully this time next year we will be meeting the 5%?

To find out more about WiAT and join the forum, visit:

WATS sponsor-block