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WomenVenture Activities Celebrate Women in Aviation

By Nyreesha Williams-Torrence

July 25, 2016 - Although Wednesday remains the premier day for many WomenVenture events, programs recognizing and celebrating women making a difference in aviation will take place throughout the week.

“This year we wanted to expand WomenVenture,” said WomenVenture Chairperson Kelly Nelson. “The whole point of it is to show women that there’s other women in aviation. Six percent of the U.S. pilot population is female, so there’s about 40,000 women pilots and that’s it.

“So we really want to give women a way to connect on the grounds because they are here doing things, it’s just hard to find another woman doing what you’re doing at your local airport once we all spread out. As you can imagine, not everybody is here all week. So we expanded it to try and give people an opportunity to be part of the WomenVenture event, even if they can’t be part of the main event on Wednesday.”

Nelson also said there was a focus on highlighting the contributions of women in the aviation industry across the board. Which is why some of the forums and workshops that were already scheduled were brought under the WomenVenture umbrella.

“Women have been participating in AirVenture and contributing to the events around here since the beginning of the show,” she said. “We knew they were out there, so we wanted to show that if you’re interested in warbirds there’s a place for you there, there’s a place for women in vintage and in ultralights.”

There are a lot of opportunities for women in aviation, and Nelson hopes that having these events going on throughout the week will show women who are considering getting involved that there’s a network of other women willing to mentor them and guide them into whatever it is they want to do.  

Some of the week’s highlights include:


  • 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. – Drones in Today’s World – Aviation Gateway Park Forums


  • 8-9 a.m. – Women in Aviation Breakfast ($15 fee) – Nature Center
    • Keynote speaker: Sherry Carbary


  • 1-2:15 p.m. – Trailblazers: The Women of The Boeing Company – Theater in the Woods


  • 10 a.m. – Air Show Adventures – IAC Forums


  • 10-11:15 a.m. – Barbara Ganson, first certificated U.S. Woman Pilot – Hilton Theater


  • 1 p.m. – Air Show Highlights: Debby Rihn-Harvey, Dorothy Wagstaff – Flightline
Additionally, the annual WomenVenture group photo will be taken at 11 a.m. tomorrow on Boeing Centennial Plaza.
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