Delta’s mission to close the gender gap in aviation continues as the airline flies school girls on an all-female flight, to celebrate International Girls in Aviation Day.

The flight, carrying 120 girls aged 12-18 from Salt Lake City to NASA in Houston, was Delta’s fifth-annual WING flight – which stands for “Woman Inspiring our Next Generation”.

The aim of the program is to expose young girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers and work towards gender equality in the aviation industry.

“We know representation matters. At Delta, we believe you have to see it to be it,”

Beth Poole, General Manager – Pilot Development

From nose to tail, the flight was planned and orchestrated exclusively by women – including the pilots flying the plane, ramp agents working on the ground, gate agents boarding the flight and women in the tower guiding the aircraft on its way out.

 

More about WING

Karry On - Delta Female Women in Aviation

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Delta’s WING Flight originated in 2015 as an effort to diversify a male-dominated industry and expose girls to STEM careers at a young age.

This year’s anniversary makes over 600 female students who have taken to the skies with Delta through the program.

“We’re taking ownership to improve gender diversity by exposing girls at a young age and providing a pipeline so that 10 years from now, they will be the pilots in the Delta cockpit inspiring generations of women who follow.”

Beth Poole, General Manager – Pilot Development

While the WING Flight was many of the girls’ first time flying, Delta partnered with schools that have STEM or aviation programs to provide clear paths for interested future female aviators.

“It didn’t seem realistic to go after a career in aviation, but today I realized, ‘Hey, I can do this too,'”

Katelyn, WING passenger, age 17

YES GIRL, YOU 100% CAN!

 

The NASA experience

Karry On - Delta Female Women in Aviation

Image: Delta

On the ground in Houston, the girls experienced the worlds of flight and human space exploration. They toured NASA’s Mission Control Center, Building 9, Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston.

Throughout the trip, students got to know mentors from other male-dominated aviation workgroups, including a female technician from Delta’s Technical Operations team. They also had lunch with Jeanette Epps, NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer.

“I never would have thought I would have had this experience. I’m really grateful for my parents who have made this possible and inspired my love of aviation,”

Karyanna, WING passenger, age 16

 

Delta, closing the gender gap

Karry On - Delta Female Women in Aviation

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Delta is on par with the aviation industry with approximately 5% pilots who are women. In the past four years, 7.4% of Delta’s new hire pilots have been women. The WING Flight is one way they’re working to drive those numbers upward.

Delta works to level the skies by advocating for gender equality. In 2019, Delta achieved 100 percent pay parity for employees in frontline jobs and was awarded a “Best Workplace for Women” by Great Place To Work® and Fortune for the third year in a row, as the only airline on the list.

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Karry On - Delta Female Women in Aviation

Image: Delta