The fourth annual Women’s Aviation Career Symposium (WACS) was held on Saturday, February 19th in Battle Creek, Michigan. This event was a professional career conference (for women only) designed to introduce women to aviation and promote networking, education, and scholarships while building up the aviation community.
With over 180 people in attendance, WACS awarded $32,000 in scholarships, quadrupling the amount given last year, and tripling the goal for this year thanks to donations from over 30 sponsors. As a result, 16 women each received $2,000 to go towards aviation education and training in the categories of flight training, maintenance training, professional development, and engineering.
“We are grateful and honored by the generosity of our sponsors,” said Mary Poirier, WACS CoFounder. “We are amazed at how the aviation industry is coming together to support women in aviation.”
Representatives from 25 aviation companies and schools visited and spoke with attendees. The event featured roundtable discussions with professional industry panelists, a resume writing and job interview workshop, drone exhibits, airplane simulations, and various aircraft tours. Some attendees also toured Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation and the Duncan Aviation Maintenance Facility.
Eighty industry exhibitors participated in the event. “I attended the first Women’s Aviation Career Symposium at Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport,” said Megan Turner, an exhibitor for L-3 Harris. “I can’t believe how much it has grown.”
Keynote speaker, Allison McKay, CEO of Women in Aviation International, spoke on the challenges facing the aviation industry, specifically diversity. Citing the promotion of aviation to women as well as relying on men as allies in the aviation industry, she advised women to become their own advocates.
“Be your own greatest cheerleader,” said McKay. “Whether you want to fly or fix aircraft, or work in Air Traffic Control, there are so many professions in this industry that are in demand right now…whatever you want to do, you can do it in aviation. It’s just a matter of finding your niche, your passion, and then pursuing your dream.” The Women’s Aviation Career Symposium is an event designed to connect the local aviation community. For additional information and to become involved contact email@example.com.