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GAMA commends Congressional legislation promoting women in aviation

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The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has commended two recent pieces of federal legislation, written to help more women pursue careers in aviation and further opportunities for those already working in the industry.

The Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and in the U.S. House by Representatives Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), urges the aviation industry to “explore all opportunities, including pilot training, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and mentorship programs, to encourage and support female students and aviators to pursue a career in aviation” while also directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish a women in aviation board to support organizations and efforts to foster women's careers in aviation.

“We applaud these members of Congress for introducing this legislation,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “When it comes to the aviation sector, women are, to our industry’s detriment, very underrepresented. They are a critical resource from which we need to tap to recapitalize our aging workforce. We encourage all members of Congress, especially those in the Senate and House General Aviation Caucuses, to support this legislation and ensure its passage.”

GAMA also notes the recent passage of The Women in Aerospace Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, by a vote of 409-17. This bill, introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA), is designed to open fellowship and grant opportunities to women from agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation, while also directing NASA to institute a process that prioritizes promotion and recruitment of qualified women, or others who are historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

GAMA and its members are proud of the growing efforts to encourage women to learn about aerospace, and will play a very active role in Girls in Aviation Day at the annual Women in Aviation International conference this year. GAMA is also working with the International Council of Airshows to highlight to parents at airshow venues the tremendous career opportunities that await their children in aerospace.

Additionally, through the GAMA Aviation Design Challenge that began in 2013, high school students employ STEM skills through aviation software to design and fly innovative vehicles. GAMA requires that each competing team of four students include female members.

“I’m really excited about the growing movement to recruit women in our industry,” continued Bunce. “With electric, hybrid and autonomous manned and unmanned aircraft now taking to the skies in exponentially increasing numbers, our need for motivated talent is greater than ever.”

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 11th January 2018 | Issue #446

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