Women in Aviation International (WAI), India Chapter and Lockheed Martin India celebrated Girls in Aviation Day at Vidya School, Gurugram. With the vision to encourage young girls to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and explore career opportunities in related industries, the initiative is aimed at showcasing prospects in the aviation and aerospace sectors. Part of Lockheed Martin’s commitment at developing the talent of tomorrow, the initiative also aligns with the Government of India’s ‘Skill India’ initiative.
L to R: Michael Fernandez, Director, Aeronautics, Lockheed Martin India; Kush Kapoor, CEO Roseate Hotels and Resorts and Mr. Amber Dubey, JS, Min of Civil Aviation with students of Vidya School
As part of the program, WAI India chapter celebrated the event to reiterate their slogan – ‘Beti ki udaan, desh ka swabhimaan’ and develop young skills in these growing sectors to promote the vision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ (UDAN).
Bird Academy which is dedicated to help young entrants not only specialize in the chosen field, but also provide scholarships, has joined hands with WAI India chapter.
Congratulating on the occasion of Girls in Aviation Day, Gen V.K. Singh, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation (State) said, “Gender gap has thinned a lot in aviation recruitment. There is still a significant gap to be addressed. Girls are increasingly rubbing shoulders with their male counterparts in every avenue of aviation from being at the cockpit to serving the guests.”
He further added, “With the good education, right personality development I am sure that girls will excel in any field they choose, let alone aviation.“
This year the event was celebrated at Vidya School – empowering and transforming lives through education which is a sponsored program of several corporates. More than 250 girl students and alumni who were part of the program would have the opportunity to choose this career for which they will be trained. Bird Group also recommends having a bi-monthly curriculum on aviation at Vidya School.
Aerospace, hospitality and tourism together will be a big industry to boost the economy of India, being the biggest foreign exchange earners and employment generators. Availing this opportunity, Roseate Hotels & Resorts comes on board to mentor the students for various jobs in hospitality.
Shri Amber Dubey, the chief guest at the event is the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and spoke on the many career opportunities present in aviation for young girls. He is the brain child behind promoting drones and related government regulations.
Role models and professionals from across aerospace, hospitality and tourism including Mrs. Radha Bhatia, President, WAI (India Chapter) and Mr. William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India along with Michael Fernandez, Director, Aeronautics, Lockheed Martin India amongst others addressed the girls at the event. Attending students were given the opportunity to engage with industry leaders, explore, learn and participate in fun and interactive quiz competition. The event was concluded with an exciting drone flying session.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Radha Bhatia, President, WAI India chapter shared, “This is the sixth year that the WAI India Chapter is celebrating ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ and we are delighted to host the same at Vidya School, Gurugram. This day is celebrated at 81 places worldwide to encourage young girls to choose aviation as a viable career opportunity. World over India has the maximum number of female pilots but there are many other avenues that are still unknown. With this celebration our aim is to see girls from the state of Haryana explore exciting careers available to them as engineers, air traffic controllers and dozens of other jobs within the aviation.” She further added, “We will continue our endeavour to introduce young girls to role models and educate them in a fun and supportive atmosphere. We are very fortunate to be able to partner with Lockheed Martin India for this event. Their efforts in leading youth into STEM careers is truly commendable.”
Speaking about Lockheed Martin’s commitment to this initiative, William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India said, “As a leading global aerospace and defence company, Lockheed Martin firmly believes that STEM education is crucial in fostering the next generation of engineers, explorers and scientists in India. We are proud to play our part in enabling the same through our association with organizations like Women in Aviation International (India Chapter). We are conscious about encouraging young women to broaden their horizons and pursue an education in STEM. In line with government initiatives such as ‘Skill India’, ‘Girls in Aviation Day’ seeks to narrow the skills gap, foster a learning environment and inspire young women to take up careers in aerospace and aviation.”
Since 2016, Lockheed Martin has partnered with WAI India chapter to create awareness and build confidence in young students to expand their horizons and inspire future generations. In June 2020, Lockheed Martin and WAI organized a virtual event to provide ongoing mentoring and remote engagement for middle and high school students to continue to advance STEM education.
Speaking on the association, Ms. Rashmi Misra, Founder President of Vidya said, “We are honored to partner with Women in Aviation International (India Chapter) and my grateful thanks to President Mrs. Radha Bhatia for her vision and the opportunity for our girls to step into the world of aviation. This partnership is a dream come true. 60% of our underserved students across Vidya are girls, and they are first generation learners who speak excellent English, and IT enabled are confident and have huge dreams. We hold hands with every student of Vidya till they are employed. A career in Aviation, Tourism and Hospitality will make them role models for their community and family. We are looking at a long and inspirational partnership with WAI.”
She further added, “The WAI would inspire our VIDYA girls to careers in Aviation and we dream of the day that one of our girls would fly in the sky as captain! Our grateful thanks to all our honored guests present today. We are greatly touched by the gift of your presence, your motivation, your vision to transform the life of our girls.”