A rare event took place as a plane with an all-female flight manifest flew towards NASA. As a part of its Women Inspiring our Next Generation, Delta took 120 girls between the age of 12 to 18 from Salt Lake City to the NASA headquarters located in Houston. The program aims to close the gender gap in aviation by encouraging more girls and women to become pilots.
WING Flight was founded in 2015 as an attempt to bring more diversity into the field of piloting but this is not the sole purpose, since it can also inspire girls to follow further studies and pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) According to a Delta press release, all the stages of the flight were planet and executed by women, ranging from the pilots to the women in the tower who offered guidance as the airplane left the runway.
After the flight arrived in Houston, the girls toured several NASA facilities, among which we can count the Mission Control Center, Space Center Houston, Building, or the Johnson Space Center. During the tour, the girls received information and tips from several female mentors, including a female technician of the Delta Technical Operations Team. At lunch they met and discussed with Jeanette Epps, a NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer.
The girls were impressed by the experience and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about NASA and the opportunities which can be found in STEM.
In recent years the number of women who are interested in STEM degrees has increased constantly, but more needs to be done to encourage them. Major discrepancies between men and women are still present in several fields due to bias. Many employers prefer to hire men as they are deemed to be superior. This means that even if women have the right training and meet the requirements they will struggle to find a job in STEM.
Hopefully, initiatives like the one offered by Delta will change the situation in the future.