The 25th International Women in Aviation Conference, held last weekend in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., had a little something for everyone. History buffs came to honor the four new WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees: Sally Ride, first female NASA astronaut in space; Nancy Currie, NASA International Space Station commander; Beryl Markham, author and aviatrix; and Sheila Scott, record-setting British pilot.
Girls came for Daughter Day, where they learned to read aviation charts, fly PC simulators and build model airports, after hearing from Nagin Cox, an engineer on the Mars Rover Curiosity.
College students and aviators of all ages came looking for career advice in 45 education sessions, while thousands of job-seekers attended one-on-one and group hiring sessions with airlines, corporate flight departments and government agencies.
All told there were more than 4,500 people in attendance–men, women and children–and 133 companies, many hiring. Eighty-six WAI members went home with scholarships for training and career advancement worth nearly $500,000. Next year’s conference will be in Dallas, from March 5 to 7.