This Black women’s pilot group aims to increase diversity one mentee at a time.
According to Good Morning America (GMA), Sisters of the Skies (SOS) consists of professional Black women pilots who joined forces to help change the number of Black women represented in their field.
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? SOS MEMBER SPOTLIGHT ? @joiridehigh_fit . Featuring Joi Schweitzer Pilot for Endeavor Air CRJ 200 . Favorite quote: “The hardest thing to do is leaving your comfort zone. But you have to let go of the life you are familiar with and take risks to live the life you dream about” . #sistersoftheskies #spotlight #fittofly #takerisks #motivationmonday #keepmovingforward
Per Because of Them We Can (BOTWC), there are less than 150 Black women pilots in the United States which make for less than one percent representation in the entire career field. This group has hopes of changing that through programs, community, and pathways that will allow more Black women to get their licenses to become airline transport pilots, military pilots, commercial pilots, or certified flight instructors.
“Young ladies don’t know what they can accomplish because sometimes in order for us to be something, you have to see something,” an SOS member said, according to GMA. “I have been mistaken more times than I care to count for someone other than a pilot.”
“Most people they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re the actual pilot?… You do the takeoff and the landing?’… I’m like ‘Yeah, it was us,'” adds another member.
The members attest that the frequency of this mistake is due to the scarcity of Black women within the field. This program’s aim is to “drastically improve [the] number [of Black women in the sector] through mentorship, professional development, STEM, outreach and scholarships” for prospective pilots.”
One of the program’s current mentees, Victoria Wentt, 16, says that she hopes to break barriers to fulfill her dream of becoming a pilot.
“There’s been people, they bring up the money…but I try to look past that. This is what I want to do now. I want to be a commercial airliner,” Wentt said. “A [Black female pilot] is a very rare sight, but I hope to be one of them.”
For more on Sisters of the Skies, visit their website here.