WAI and Lockheed Martin India celebrate Girls in Aviation Day

The initiative aims to introduce girls to the possibilities available for a career in aerospace, tourism and hospitality industry

Girls in Aviation Day was celebrated at Vidya School in Gurugram by Women in Aviation International (WAI), India Chapter, and Lockheed Martin India. The initiative aims to highlight opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sectors in order to encourage young girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and pursue careers in the related industries. The initiative is part of Lockheed Martin's commitment to developing tomorrow's talent, and it also aligns with the Government of India's 'Skill India' initiative.

As part of the programme, the WAI India chapter celebrated the event to reaffirm their slogan – ‘Beti ki Udaan, Desh ka Swabhimaan.' and to develop young skills in these growing sectors in order to promote the Ministry of Civil Aviation's vision of ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik' (UDAN). This year's event was held at Vidya School - empowering and transforming lives through education, a corporate-sponsored programme. More than 250 female students and alumni from the programme will be able to choose the career for which they will be trained. The Bird Group also suggests that Vidya School implement a bi-monthly aviation curriculum.

Aerospace, hospitality, and tourism will be important industries for India's economy, as they are the largest foreign exchange earners and job creators. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Roseate Hotels & Resorts joins forces with the students to mentor them for various jobs in the hospitality industry.

Amber Dubey, the event's chief guest, is the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, and he spoke about the numerous career opportunities available in aviation for young girls. He is the driving force behind the promotion of drones and associated government regulations.

Role models and professionals from the aerospace, hospitality, and tourism industries addressed the girls at the event, including Radha Bhatia, President, WAI, William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, and Michael Fernandez, Director, Aeronautics, Lockheed Martin India. Students who attended had the opportunity to interact with industry leaders, explore, learn, and compete in a fun and interactive quiz competition. The event was capped off with an exciting drone flying demonstration.

“This is the sixth year that the WAI India Chapter is celebrating ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ and we are delighted to host the same at Vidya School, Gurugram. This day is celebrated at 81 places worldwide to encourage young girls to choose aviation as a viable career opportunity. World over India has the maximum number of female pilots but there are many other avenues that are still unknown. With this celebration, our aim is to see girls from the state of Haryana explore exciting careers available to them as engineers, air traffic controllers and dozens of other jobs within aviation.” said Radha Bhatia, President, WAI India chapter. 

She further added, “We will continue our endeavour to introduce young girls to role models and educate them in a fun and supportive atmosphere. We are very fortunate to be able to partner with Lockheed Martin India for this event. Their efforts in leading youth into STEM careers is truly commendable.”

Speaking about Lockheed Martin’s commitment to this initiative, William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India said, “As a leading global aerospace and defence company, Lockheed Martin firmly believes that STEM education is crucial in fostering the next generation of engineers, explorers and scientists in India. We are proud to play our part in enabling the same through our association with organizations like Women in Aviation International (India Chapter). We are conscious of encouraging young women to broaden their horizons and pursue an education in STEM. In line with government initiatives such as ‘Skill India’, ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ seeks to narrow the skills gap, foster a learning environment and inspire young women to take up careers in aerospace and aviation.”

Since 2016, Lockheed Martin has collaborated with the WAI India chapter to raise awareness and confidence in young students, allowing them to broaden their horizons and inspire future generations. Lockheed Martin and WAI will host a virtual event in June 2020 to provide ongoing mentoring and remote engagement for middle and high school students in order to advance STEM education.

“This partnership is a dream come true. Sixty per cent of our underserved students across Vidya are girls, and they are first-generation learners who speak excellent English, and IT-enabled is confident and have huge dreams. We hold hands with every student of Vidya till they are employed. A career in Aviation, Tourism and Hospitality will make them role models for their community and family. We are looking at a long and inspirational partnership with WAI.” said Rashmi Misra, Founder President of Vidya.

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