Mireille Goyer, founder of iWOAW, with some of the girls and women she introduced to flying during the Centennial celebration
American event list & registration
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If you are planning an event during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week (March 4-10, 2013), please complete our submission form to add it to this list.
To locate an event near your residence, click on the map or browse the list below.
States listed in bold have planned activities.
The Women of Aviation Worldwide Week Community provides a meeting area for like minded people to make new friends, keep in touch with old ones, share ideas, work on common projects and support participants in their endeavors.
International Women’s Day, a paid holiday in some countries, celebrates the contribution of women to society annually on March 8. March 8 is also the anniversary of the first woman pilot license, worldwide.
Our community organizes an annual week-long celebration of the Women Of Aviation Worldwide during the week of March 8.
We encourage anyone involved in aviation to honor the Women of Aviation of the past and the present as well as to reach out and introduce girls and women to the opportunities that aviation has to offer.
Activities such as flying events, factory and school open door events, museum special programs, photo contests, and flight challenges are organized to showcase today’s women of aviation as well as extend a warm welcome to newcomers. View Women of Aviation Worldwide Week’s contests and the planned events.
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week upcoming dates:
- March 4-10, 2013
- March 3-9, 2014
- March 2-8, 2015
- March 7-13, 2016
Join us to celebrate!
Mireille Goyer, founder of iWOAW, in 2009, Mireille searched for planned events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot license worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910. To her dismay, she found none.
Determined to not let this important milestone for women pilots go unnoticed and uncelebrated, she launched a worldwide campaign and encouraged pilots to “Fly It Forward” (i.e., introduce a girl or a woman to flying) to honor the female aviation pioneers of 1910. As a result, over 1,600 girls and women discovered the joys of flying in thirty six countries on four continents.
Realizing that the small number of women pilots partly explained the Centennial oversight and that the main barrier to women’s participation to the air and space industry is the perception that the field is reserved to men, Mireille launched the annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative in 2011.
The outreach initiative aims to foster diversity in aviation by celebrating women’s history, raising awareness of aviation’s opportunities among girls and women, and sparking vocations by introducing girls and women to aviation through industry-wide collaboration.
Since Mireille started encouraging pilots to “Fly It Forward” in early 2010, thousands of girls and women have experienced the joy of flying in a small aircraft for the first time. Significant use of media in association with the week’s activities has allowed many more to become aware that women have contributed to the industry since its beginnings and that this exciting industry is for women too.
Mireille is the recipient of the following awards:
- 2011 Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Let’s Go Flying Award
- 2012 Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) President’s Award
- 2012 The Ninety-Nines Award of Inspiration
It started in 1784, when only 8 months after the first manned balloon flight, Count Jean-Baptiste de Laurencin got cold feet and gave his spot for a balloon flight to Marie Élisabeth Thible, a French opera singer. She dressed as a Roman goddess and sang “La Belle Arsène”, a celebrated opera of the time, as the balloon ascended to 1500 meters. She is was the first woman ever to fly.
A few years later, riding along was not good enough for women anymore.
In 1798, Jeanne Labrosse was the first woman to fly solo in an aircraft and, in June 1903, Aida de Acosta was the first woman to fly a powered aircraft, a dirigible designed by her friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. It is no surprise that just a few years after the airplane was invented, women were taking on the new challenge. On March 8 1910, Raymonde de Laroche, an experienced French balloonist became the first woman to earn a pilot license.
Women did more than flying. Jeanne Herveau of France became the first female flight school owner when she opened a flight school on December 22, 1911.
Marie Marvingt of France designed one of the first air ambulances, dedicated her life to making air ambulance services a reality, and created the original flight nurse training program. Bessica Medlar Raiche of the United States built her own airplane which she flew solo on September 16, 1910. She is credited for being the first woman to fly an airplane solo on the American continent. In 1913, in addition to becoming the first woman to hold a pilot license in Russia two years earlier, Lidia Zvereva owned and ran an airplane assembly plant with her husband. Since these early times, women have continued to contribute to the aviation industry.
However, today, the Women of Aviation continue to be a tiny minority (read “5 decades of women pilots in the U.S. How did we do?“). While the percentage of female doctors, female lawyers, and police women went from nonexistent 100 years ago to around 25% today, the percentage of women involved in aviation has remained steadily low (around 5-6%). As a result, the common perception is that aviation is for men only.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyday, women are enjoying flying for the fun of it or for a career. More and more women are becoming Air Traffic Controllers. Some become aircraft mechanics or aerospace engineers.
The anniversary of the first female pilot license worldwide and International Women’s Day are observed on March 8. The aviation industry celebrates this special week for women by showcasing its female members and extending a warm welcome to newcomers during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.
Whether you want to be part of the welcome committee or you are interested in discovering what aviation has to offer to women, please join us.