Story Monday, Sept 25,
gives girls hands-on Navy experience
Kirsten Braizer, D. Tech. (honoris causa) President
Girls get the chance to cruise
the Pacific with the Royal Canadian Navy. Below, Kirsten Brazier works with
girls at the annual GirlsFly2 event in Abbotsford, BC.
females will have the opportunity to experience first-hand a day in the life
aboard a warship with the Royal Canadian Navy. Warships will depart from
Canada Place cruise ship terminal Oct 21, 2017 & Jan 27, 2018.
include: tours of ship duty stations, crew quarters and operational
equipment, RCAF joint search and rescue demonstration, ship firefighting
simulation, and demonstration of the warship’s impressive manoeuvring
capabilities. Lunch will be provided. For more information, or to apply,
please visit www.achieveanything.ca
warship events are the second in a series of hands-on experience events
organized by the Achieve Anything Foundation. These unique events are being
hosted by the Navy and other agency and industry partners keen on improving
gender diversity within their organizations and promoting opportunities for
women in what many still perceive as “non-traditional” fields.
an equal opportunity employer, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is
proud to support Operation: This IS You!” says Commander – Maritime
Forces Pacific, Rear Admiral Art McDonald. “Seeing us in action
you’ll discover not just what we do but also how! You’ll see, for
example, that women and men have served alongside each other in RCN
ships for many years, that all navy trades are open to either
gender, and that all receive equal pay for equal work. We look
forward to having you onboard to see our work today shaping the Navy
The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified
Canadian Armed Forces. The Navy's Pacific Fleet is co-located with
Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), with headquarters at CFB
Esquimalt, BC. MARPAC employs over 4,000 naval personnel and 2,000
Comprised of 15 warships and several auxiliary vessels, the Pacific
Fleet is responsible for protecting Canada’s West Coast up to the
Western Arctic. Fleet Naval Facility Cape Breton provides repair and
maintenance services to the Pacific Fleet. The Royal Canadian Air
Force's 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, based at Patricia Bay
Heliport provides shipborne helicopter support for the Pacific
Fleet, while 19 Wing Comox provides fixed-wing maritime air support
for MARPAC through 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron. Other Pacific
Fleet facilities are CFAD Rocky Point, an ammunition depot, and
Naval Radio Section Aldergrove.
The Achieve Anything Foundation is a federally incorporated
not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire female future
leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math), and
STEM-based fields such as Aviation, Aerospace, Marine & Defence.
With the mantra “From shop floor to top floor” the Foundation
employs a unique hands-on approach towards changing perceptions and
addressing gender disparity in high tech fields.
Achieve Anything President, Kirsten Brazier, is excited to partner
with the RCN on Operation: This IS You! “We were happy to have the
Navy join our annual airport-based events in 2016. Now these warship
events will provide women an exceptional opportunity to experience
the Navy’s true marine environment. As we grow Operation: This IS
You! we’ll be announcing more events with other agency and industry
partners. We can’t expect women to imagine a career that they have
had no contact with. We need to get them sailing, flying, working
with tools of the trade and engaging with real-live role models in
the technical fields before we can expect to see real improvements
to gender diversity.”
This hands-on approach has proven very successful for the
Foundation’s signature event The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too!,
held annually during the week of International Women’s Day. Since
2012 the family-friendly, free event has grown from 1,500 to 15,000
participants, with 20,000 expected in 2018.
Events have been supported by the Canadian Forces, Canadian Coast
Guard, RCMP, Cadets, Canadian Space Agency, US Air Force, US Navy
and other agency, industry and education partners. Special guests
have included NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence and Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper,
the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and the
Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor for British Columbia.
Free helicopter rides are provided to hundreds of female first-time
fliers of all ages to draw the females to the airport and pique
their interest in further exploring the many hands-on ground
www.girlsfly2.ca for more information.
Out of 25,413 professional pilots in Canada, only 5.8% of them are
women. Out of 17,278 aircraft engineers, only 2.3% of them are
women. Women account for only 4% of the technical trades and less
than 3% of the top command positions in the Canadian Forces.
From the numbers, it would be tempting to conclude that women are
either uninterested or unwelcome in these fields. Instead, studies
have shown that a common perception persists that Aviation,
Aerospace, Marine and Defence are industries reserved for men. From
an early age, males and females alike are affected by this
perception message, which is continually reinforced by observation
(lack of change), media, social media and advertising. The low
numbers also mean that most women have no direct family or peer
connection to these target industries. Therefore, it is unreasonable
to expect gender and cultural diversity to resolve naturally in
Achieve Anything Foundation’s Operation: This IS You!, The Sky’s No
Limit – Girls Fly Too! and other events, projects and programs aim
to change this perception and awaken new interests by providing
females of all ages with fun, interactive, and hands-on
introductions into STEM and STEM-based fields.
Brazier is a professional pilot from the Lower Mainland, BC and she
holds Airline Transport Ratings for both aeroplanes and helicopters.
With over 24 years of flying experience, Brazier has enjoyed a
diverse career flying across Canada, US and the Caribbean on wheels,
floats, skis and skids as well as two-crew operations in both
aeroplanes and helicopters.
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