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Women Soar Society Formed to Support Female Aviators

August 22, 2019 - During the Power Lunch, part of the EAA WomenVenture activities during AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, the EAA Aviation Foundation announced the formation of the Women Soar Society. This is a growing group of women who are supporting other women in aviation to help them accomplish their goals and soar beyond their dreams.

Part of EAA's mission to celebrate women and foster success in the next generation of aviators is hosting a variety of women's programs and scholarships through this society, including EAA WomenVenture, EAA GirlVenture Camp, and more.

By bringing together a carefully crafted group of women from a variety of backgrounds and different areas of aviation, the EAA Women Soar Society Advisory Board will focus on reaching more women at all stages of their aviation journey.

The chair of the advisory board, Heather Penney, who is also an EAA board member and a senior fellow at the Mitchell Institute, said it is an honor to be associated with the women on the advisory board and is proud of their influence on the aviation community.

"They are all leaders in their own right in aviation, incredible role models — not just for women, but for aviators and enthusiasts of all kinds — and to be able to bring together such an amazing group of talent to focus on women's programming is a real privilege," Heather said.

Heather said there are a number of exciting initiatives in the aviation community to bring women together. "We think that EAA has a unique opportunity because of the expanse of our membership and the chapter organizations. We believe in collaboration, not competition, and we think that we can elevate everyone's programming through the unique resources of EAA and the EAA Aviation Foundation."

Currently women constitute only 6 percent of pilots. That number is lower in the military and even lower in fighter aviation.

"From my own background as a female fighter pilot, we represent approximately 2 percent of all fighter pilots and less than 0.5 percent of pilots in general within the Air Force," Heather said. "We know that the demand for aviation professionals is only going to grow in the future, and bringing women into that talent pool is going to be essential if we are going to meet that demand."

A gift to the EAA Aviation Foundation Women Soar Society aims to support and celebrate women of all ages.

"The overall vision and the goal for the Women Soar Society is to grow the participation of women in aviation careers and areas of passion," Heather said. "We will be successful if the involvement of women in the general aviation community grows; it doesn't necessarily have to be a professional occupation."

To find out more information about the EAA Aviation Foundation Women Soar Society and how to donate, please visit EAAWomenSoarSociety.org.

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