DELTA WING Program

Welcome to the Female Friendly Skies! Delta Airlines Flies 120 Young Girls to the NASA Headquarters During its 5th Annual WING Program

An all-female Delta crew celebrated International Girls in Aviation Day with its highly-anticipated 5th annual WING (Woman Inspiring Our Next Generation) flight in an on-going effort to help diversify the massively male-dominated aviation industry while exposing school-age girls to rewarding careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). And, not a single boy was on board.

    On a trip that took off from Salt Lake City, Utah to the NASA headquarters in Houston, Texas, the annual Delta Airlines’ WING flight flew 120 lucky girls (aged 12-18) to help advocate for more women to enter the historically male-dominated aviation industry, while also promoting for pay equality. Bringing awareness for the long overdue need to close the gender gap in aviation careers, Delta’s WING program also promotes STEM careers to college preparatory girls, according to Delta Airlines’ online press release last October. “It didn’t seem realistic to go after a career in aviation. But, today I realized, ‘Hey, I can do this, too,” declares senior high schooler Katelyn.

    The celebratory flight was completely planned, orchestrated, and wo-manned by an all-women wing crew, serving as ramp agents on the ground, gate agents boarding the flights, and operators in the control tower who successfully guided the aircraft off the runway. Once the ladies landed in Houston, the girls got to tour NASA’s Mission Control Center, The Johnson Space Center, and Space Center Houston. The excited teens each got to speak to women currently working in aviation, including revered NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer Jeanette Epps, who was selected in July 2009 as one of only nine members of NASA’s 20th astronaut class.

And, the Teens Take Off!

    The celebratory flight was completely planned, orchestrated, and wo-manned by an all-women wing crew, serving as ramp agents on the ground, gate agents boarding the flights, and operators in the control tower who successfully guided the aircraft off the runway. Once the ladies landed in Houston, the girls got to tour NASA’s Mission Control Center, The Johnson Space Center, and Space Center Houston. The excited teens each got to speak to women currently working in aviation, including revered NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer Jeanette Epps, who was selected in July 2009 as one of only nine members of NASA’s 20th astronaut class.

    The girls selected to partake in the annual “leveling of the skies” are all students of Salt Lake City area schools that currently employ STEM and aviation curriculums. Delta worked with Advanced Learning Center, Bryant Middle School, Granite Technical Institute, Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Jordan Technical Institute, and Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy, respectively.

Fast Flight Facts

    Out of 609,306 pilots currently employed in the United States, only 7% comprises of women, according to 2017 statistical data acquired from The Federal Aviation Administration’s Aeronautical Center. Even more disheartening, the same study found there are currently zero female flight navigators. However, there seems to be sunny skies for Delta, as the commercial airline constitutes for 5% of pilots being women; and in the past four years, 7.4% of their new hire pilots have been women. And, their annual WING flight program is a unique, promising way to help catapult those numbers. In 2019, Delta successfully achieved 100% pay parity for their employees in frontline positions and was awarded the coveted Best Workplace for Women by Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine for three consecutive years, as a result. The female-forward airline also partners with Women in Aviation International, The National Council of Negro Women, and Atlanta’s Women Foundation. Its 20-year Supplier Diversity Program encourages and emboldens women-owned businesses through its own supply chain. The Delta SHE Business Resource Group is a long-standing program developed to engage healthy and balanced conversations about gender in today’s ever-challenging workplace. In May of this year, SHE went international, as they launched satellite chapters across parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India.

    The WING flight educational initiative is just one of a myriad of ways the legendary airline seeks to address the underrepresentation of inspiring female aviation talent. By breaking through economic, racial, and gender barriers, Delta hopes to empower more young women to enter male-dominated careers in STEM and aviation. Other Delta-designed initiatives include Dream Flight and The Propel Pilot Career Path Program, as well as partnering with nonprofits Junior Achievement Young Enterprise, Atlanta Public Schools, and others.  

 

Now, that’s something we can all get on-board with!