The Aviatrix Project will join forces with the BWPA to help inspire and encourage girls and women to take to the skies. I’ve had a lifelong passion for aviation and I want to ensure that young women have ample opportunities to achieve their dreams. Being supported by female role models was key to my success and enjoyment whilst learning to fly. One of the main aims of this project is to raise aspirations of young girls and to promote aviation as an exciting and accessible career choice.
objectives and priorities
Role models are incredibly effective in inspiring and enthusing young girls and together with the BWPA and other external agencies we will be able to develop strong partnerships with schools to support the girls who are keen to explore aviation opportunities. Whilst we will visit as many schools as we can across the UK we will make special effort to reach communities where such opportunities are not the norm. In addition I’ve been incredibly inspired by female pilots, who despite their disabilities have gone onto achieve great things. We will also aim to encourage women and girls with disabilities to aim for the skies.
The project aims are to work closely with primary and secondary schools as well as higher education institutions to encourage girls into STEM and enthuse them about aviation. Initially the project will create opportunities for professional and private pilots to visit schools to deliver assemblies and talks and identify girls who will then be offered 'taster' flights. We will also create opportunities and promote scholarships and awards which exist to support women and girls to gain a pilot’s licence as well as offering funding opportunities of our own.
The combination of BWPA’s flying club links and networks along with my educational background as an ex-Headteacher and Senior Lecturer in Education gives us a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution to encouraging girls into aviation. The opportunities are open to all schools, colleges groups and universities across the UK and we deliver assemblies, talks and workshops to mixed gender audiences.
Our aims for 2015-16
- To complete school visits to deliver assemblies, talks and workshops to promote women in aviation.
- To run a taster flight programme to identified girls to inspire them to learn to fly.
- To secure funding to develop the opportunities to support our aims and objectives.
- To create opportunities and promote scholarships and awards which exist to support women and girls into aviation
Ultimately I believe that we can use aviation as a tool to raise aspirations. I want to encourage young people – particularly young women – to believe in themselves and to know that there are no limits or barriers to achieving anything they set their mind to. Blue skies all the way!
Kanchana Gamage, Founder - The Aviatrix Project