In order to celebrate yet another successful International Girls in Aviation Day triumph, Delta had their WING (Women Inspiring our Next Generation) flight taking off and carrying 120 girls and an all-female crew to show the younger generation that a career in aviation is possible.
The flight took girls aged from 12 to 18 from Salt Lake City to NASA in Houston with the goal of closing the gender gap in aviation.
WING Flight 2019 was “planned and orchestrated exclusively by women – including the pilots flying the plane, ramp agents working on the ground, gate agents boarding the flight, and women in the tower guiding the aircraft on its way out” – according to Delta’s website.
The first Delta’s WING Flight took place in 2015 as “an effort to diversify a male-dominated industry and expose girls to STEM careers at a young age.
More than 600 girls have taken advantage of the program so far, and they’ve learned about the different career paths these women have taken and that it’s possible.
Beth Poole, General Manager at Pilot Development who helped start Delta’s WING Flight said that they know representation matters, and they believe you have to see it to be it.
She noted that they’re taking ownership to improve gender diversity by exposing girls at a young age and providing a pipeline so that 10 years from now, they’ll be the pilots in the Delta cockpit, inspiring generations of women who follow.
The girls were able to tour some of NASA’s buildings and learn about flight and human space exploration once they landed in Houston, and they also got to have lunch with Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut and space engineer.
Katelyn J., aged 17, said that it didn’t seem realistic for her to go after a career in aviation, but she realized that day that she can actually do it.
To add to that, WING Flight was the first flight many of these girls have taken, so it was an incredible experience for them.
Delta’s been working on gender equality in their organization for years, and the company achieved 100 percent pay parity for employees and was awarded a “Best Workplace for Women” by both Fortune and Great Place To Work – for the third year in a row.