Sky Aviation Holdings

Recognizing the Contributions of Women in Aviation on International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th to honor the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also a day to celebrate the progress we have made toward achieving gender equality and to inspire action toward a more inclusive and equitable world. In the aviation industry, women have made great strides throughout the decades, breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes to become leaders, pilots, engineers, and technicians.

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    Historically, the aviation field has been dominated by men. However, in recent years, more and more women have taken on leadership roles, and many have become pilots, engineers, and technicians.

    As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to recognize the remarkable achievements of women in aviation by learning about the trailblazers who have made significant strides, the associations and organizations that support and advocate for women in this field, and the inspiring female leaders who continue to drive progress and innovation in our own organization.

    Our Sky Family Female Leaders

    International Women's Day

    On this International Women’s Day and every day, the Sky Aviation Holdings (SAH) Group recognizes the outstanding female executives who are driving valuable contributions to our company and the aviation industry.

    Christina Trent, Shelia Everhart, Marlene Adkinson, Patty Brown, Emilie Barland, Crystal Negron, and Toni Leonardy are among the exceptional women leaders behind Sky Aviation Holdings Group (SAH).

    As the Operations Manager for Sky Aircraft Maintenance (SAM) in Lexington, NC, Christina Trent works closely with the Chief Inspector and the Director of Maintenance to ensure smooth day-to-day activities of the facility. Her leadership and dedication inspire all of us, and her experience and expertise have proved her an invaluable asset to the company.

    Shelia Everhart is an integral part of the team at Sky Aircraft Maintenance (SAM) as the Administrative Assistant. With her exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail, she ensures that all orders are taken care of promptly and efficiently. Shelia also provides essential support by answering phones, managing schedules, and performing various administrative tasks. Her hard work and dedication to her role are greatly appreciated by everyone at SAM, and she plays a vital role in helping the company run smoothly.

    Marlene Adkinson is the Broker of Record for Sky Aviation Insurance (SAI) and has played a vital role in building the company from the ground up. Specializing in Corporate Aircraft Insurance, MRO Aviation Insurance, Aviation Cyber Liability, FBO Insurance, Airport Liability, Aircraft Hull & Liability, Aviation Products Liability, Aviation Workers Compensation, Owner Aircraft Insurance, and Commercial Aircraft Insurance, Marlene helps aviation clients worldwide with their insurance needs. We are grateful to have her on our team, and her unwavering dedication and leadership are an inspiration to all of us at SAH.

    As the backbone of SkyShareUSA, Patty Brown serves as our Flight Coordinator and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our flights and accommodations for owners. Her attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and ability to manage complex logistics have helped ensure that our clients have a seamless travel experience. Patty’s professionalism is appreciated by our satisfied customers, who see her unwavering dedication.

    As the marketing manager, Emilie Barland collaborates with every team member to assist in achieving SAH’s marketing objectives. With her exceptional creativity and strategic thinking, Emilie has helped develop and implement successful marketing campaigns for SAH’s various subsidiaries, including Sky Aircraft Maintenance, Sky Aviation Insurance, and SkyShare USA. Emilie’s dedication and contributions are valued by the SAH team.

    Crystal Negron and Toni Leonardy both work in the accounting department for seven companies under SAH. Crystal and Toni are responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions are accurate and that everyone gets paid on time. Their commitment to their work and attention to detail have helped maintain the financial stability of our company. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication.

    We express our gratitude to these exceptional women for their contributions to our company and the aviation industry, as they inspire us with their leadership, dedication, and expertise, and we take great pride in having them on our SAH team on this International Women’s Day.

    Female Leaders in Aviation

    Did you know that only 9% of FAA Certified pilots are women? For nonpilots, this number increases to 30.2%, per the Women in Aviation International’s website. There were times females weren’t allowed to become pilots or even work in the aviation field. Let’s dive into the history of female leaders in aviation and their accomplishments that broke down these barriers. 

    Blanche “Betty” Stuart Scott

    Blanche “Betty” Stuart Scott

    Blanche “Betty” Stuart Scott was a trailblazing female aviator. Born in 1885, Scott was raised in Rochester, New York. She attended the Misses School for Girls, Howard Seminary, and Fort Edward College and later her mother wanted her to go to finishing school, however, Scott chose her own direction.

    At 25 years old, Blanche Scott became the second woman to make a transcontinental road trip across America. Despite critics who doubted her ability to cope with anything mechanical, Scott was determined to prove them wrong. During this trip, she saw airplanes for the first time and initially thought the people flying were foolish. However, just three weeks later, she took her first flight and became an aviation pioneer.

    She began taking flying lessons from Glenn Curtiss, a prominent aviation pioneer, and took flight (on accident thanks to a gust of wind) in September of 1910 followed by her public flight a month later. Curtiss was reluctant about training a female, and Scott was the first and only female he taught. In fact, because of his influence, Scott never went to get her license from the Aero Club of New York.

    Instead, she moved to the west coast to become a test pilot and joined a flying circus that didn’t require the Aero Club’s pilot’s license. She continued to fly to exhibitions as a career. Scott finally retired after finding that there were no opportunities for females as mechanics or engineers. Her accomplishments did end with retirement. She became the first female to ride on a passenger jet.

    Scott’s accomplishments paved the way for future generations of female aviators. She had many firsts and seconds including being the second woman to drive a car cross country, the first woman to fly an airplane, the first female aviator to fly publicly in a professional appearance, the first woman to ride in a jet and additionally she earned her a place in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Her legacy continues to inspire women to pursue their dreams and break down barriers in aviation and beyond.

    Amelia Earhart

    Amelia Earhart

    One of the most notable examples of a woman making her mark in aviation is Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart was a pioneering aviator who broke down barriers and inspired generations of women to pursue their dreams.

    Born in Atchison, Kansas in 1897, Earhart grew up with a sense of adventure. Her family moved often, thanks to her father’s job. After high school, she went on to become a nurse’s aide in the military. After the war, she went into pre-med school but ended up dropping out. She ended up moving to California where her parents lived.

    Her interest in flying was sparked in 1920 when she took her first plane ride.

    Determined to become a pilot, Earhart worked tirelessly to earn her flying license and quickly established herself as one of the most skilled and daring pilots of her time.

    In 1932, she made history as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, earning her international fame. She went on to set numerous aviation records and inspired millions of people around the world.

    However, Earhart’s life was tragically cut short when she disappeared while attempting to fly around the world in 1937. Despite an extensive search, her plane was never found, and her fate remains a mystery to this day. However, her legacy as a pioneering aviator and a symbol of determination and courage live on.

    Bessie Coleman

    Bessie Coleman

    Bessie Coleman was a symbol of hope, perseverance, and progress. She was an aviator who defied the odds and became the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license.

    Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Coleman grew up in a world that was deeply segregated and unequal. She worked alongside her mom to save money so that she could attend an agriculture school.

    Unfortunately, it became too expensive after the first semester and Coleman moved to Chicago to be with her brothers and to attend beauty school. Her brothers teased her about the opportunities women had in Europe. They talked about how females were able to fly and do things that American women weren’t welcome to do.

    This captivated Coleman. So, she traveled to France in 1920 to attend flight school. She earned her international pilot’s license in 1921 and returned to the United States as a celebrated and accomplished aviator.

    Coleman quickly became a sensation, performing in air shows across the country and inspiring countless people with her courage and skill. She was known for doing “loop-the-loops”.

    People nicknamed her “Brave Bessie,” “Queen Bess,” and “The Only Race Aviatrix in the World.” She was a trailblazer for African American women and African American Pilots alike. She served as a symbol of hope and progress during a time of deep social and racial inequality.

    Sadly, Coleman’s life was cut short when she died in a plane crash in 1926 at the age of just 34. However, her legacy lives on as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations of women and people of color who have faced systemic barriers in pursuing their dreams. She defied societal norms and broke through racial and gender barriers to achieve her dream of becoming a pilot, inspiring countless others to follow in her footsteps.

    Despite her untimely death, her impact on the aviation industry and the civil rights movement was immeasurable. Bessie Coleman’s story reminds us that with determination, perseverance, and a relentless pursuit of our goals, we can break down barriers and achieve greatness.

    Ellen Church

    Ellen Church

    Picture this: You’re all set to embark on your flight, and as you make your way to your seat, you notice something amiss. No friendly flight attendants to help you with your luggage, no snacks or drinks passed during the flight, and no one to assist you when your in-flight entertainment system decides to act up.

    Would this ruin your experience of flying? Without the reassuring presence of flight attendants, air travel would be nothing short of a bumpy ride. After all, who else is going to bring you that much-needed extra bag of peanuts, or help you find your way to the lavatory when the seatbelt sign is on?

    Luckily, Ellen Church was a trailblazing aviator and nurse who revolutionized the airline industry by helping to establish the world’s first flight attendants. Born in Cresco, Iowa in 1904, Church grew up in the aviation era and dreamed of becoming a pilot. However, at the time, the aviation industry was largely closed off to women, and she struggled to find opportunities to pursue her passion.

    Undeterred, Church decided to go into nursing and quickly established herself as a skilled and dedicated healthcare professional. In 1930, she approached Boeing Air Transport with a proposal to hire registered nurses as in-flight attendants. The idea was met with skepticism, but Church’s persistence and dedication eventually convinced the airline to give it a try.

    The requirements were strict. The flight attendants could only weigh 115 lbs, no taller than 4’5” and had to be a nurse. In May 1930, Church succeeded in building a team of seven other nurses who made history by becoming the world’s first flight attendants. They were responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers during flights, and their professionalism and dedication set a new standard for the airline industry.

    Church’s contributions to the aviation industry did not end with her pioneering work as a flight attendant. She continued to work as a nurse and was called upon to train evacuation nurses for D-Day.

    Church’s contributions to the airline industry have earned her a place in the National Aviation Hall of Fame and cemented her status as one of the most important figures in the history of American aviation. She created a career that most men did not think a females could do. It was a determined young woman from Iowa who changed their minds.

    Associations Supporting Women in Aviation

    There are many groups out there that provide resources, mentoring, and networking opportunities to women who are pursuing careers in aviation, and they work to promote the advancement of women in all areas of the industry.

    These groups have made significant contributions to promoting gender equality and diversity in the aviation industry, and they have helped to inspire and empower women around the world to pursue their dreams in aviation. They advocate for those who don’t realize that aviation has many different opportunities.

    Let’s explore three of the top organizations that support women in aviation: Women in Aviation International (WAI), the International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM), and The Ninety-Nines.

    Women in Aviation International (WAI)

    Women in Aviation International (WAI) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and advancing women in aviation and aerospace careers. Their members are diverse, including astronauts, pilots, technicians, engineers, journalists, and business owners. WAI aims to invest in the aviation industry’s current and future workforce, develop inclusivity, and inspire young girls to pursue careers in aviation.

    They provide year-round resources to assist women in aviation and aerospace, educational outreach programs, and the Girls in Aviation Day program for girls aged 8-17. WAI also honors the accomplishments of notable women in aviation history, such as Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Eileen Collins, and others, through their WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame program.

    The Ninety-Nines

    The Ninety-Nines is an organization that was founded in 1929 by 117 women pilots at Curtiss Field, Long Island, New York. Their goal was to support each other, advance aviation, and encourage more women to become pilots. Louise Thaden was elected Secretary and worked to keep the group together. Amelia Earhart became the first President in 1931, and membership was opened to all licensed women pilots.

    Today, the organization continues to encourage women to pursue aviation careers and supports them through resources, outreach programs, and recognition of historic female aviators. While thousands of women are now part of the Ninety-Nines community, there is still a need to encourage more women to become pilots and shatter stereotypes. The organization encourages women to share their love of aviation on social media and help promote their mission.

    Women's Air & Space Museum (IWASM)

    The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) is a non-profit organization situated in Cleveland, Ohio, specifically located in Burke Lakefront Airport. Its mission is to collect, preserve and exhibit the history and culture of women in aviation and aerospace. More than four decades ago, IWASM initiated the idea of preserving the history of women in aviation, and since then, they have been collecting and preserving memorabilia and historical artifacts. Admission to the museum is free, and it is open seven days a week, as it is located in a public building. The museum aims to inspire future generations and educate people about the contributions of women in aviation beyond the names of Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride by bringing the history of women in aviation to life.

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    This compilation provides a brief overview of just a few of the women who have made significant contributions to history and paved the way for countless others. For instance, Emily Howell-Warner, who became the first female pilot to be employed by a scheduled US airline in 1973, and Jeannie Leavitt, who became the first female fighter pilot and the first female fighter wing commander, are among the numerous trailblazing women who drove change in the field. These women, and many others like them, serve as sources of inspiration and models of achievement for generations to come.

    We recognize that women across all industries and sectors are making significant contributions to society. On this International Women’s Day, we celebrate their achievements and honor their hard work and dedication. We hope that the stories of these female leaders inspire others to pursue your passions and reach for your dreams, no matter what industry you work in. We encourage everyone to seek out associations, groups, and organizations that inspire and empower you to be the best versions of yourself.

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