by Zena Henry
‘Girl power’ was the theme when some within the local aviation’s female community gathered last week for an event that ended up solidifying the need for a ‘Women in Aviation’ Guyana Chapter to address the many issues they face in this industry.
The event was meant for senior and experienced female aviation stalwart, Captain Beverly Drake to impart some of her knowledge on the younger females, but it also brought out the burning desire of females in aviation to institutionally organize and support each other in a generally accepted male-dominated field.
A number of prominent aviation women including Guyana Civil Aviation Authority’s (GCAA) Paula McAdam, Air Services Limited (ASL) Annette Arjoon-Martins and Director of Jags Aviation, Briony Tiwari met at ASL’s Departure Lounge last Thursday to welcome Drake; the country’s first female commercial and army pilot.
It was agreed that by those present that women in aviation need to support each other with the participants sharing experiences which they felt would have gone better had they the female support group.
While the women have proven themselves strong and resilient, the nature of being child bearers, mothers and caretakers are sometimes unavoidable instances. However, the extra tasks that women have to perform should not hinder them from attaining their goals. As such, the women chapter must first establish itself so that aviation women can look forward to helping each other and coming up with ways to overcome common challenges.
With women being a minority in the aviation sector, it is believed that if a representative body is available their strides may seem bigger. Decisions on the way forward include the women establishing the ‘Women in Aviation’ chapter by July 1, 2015.
They will capitalise on local training opportunities available through domestic operators as well as those being offered regularly by Caribbean Airlines (CAL ). Most importantly, the aviation women hope to capitalise on bilateral relations between Guyana and Singapore with training opportunities at the Singapore Aviation Academy.
This arrangement makes it easy for Guyanese to be trained in various aspects of aviation in Singapore free of cost. The participant would only have to foot the airfare.