Feature Story                                                                         Monday, January 11, 2016


Westward the Women

Lieutenant Governor encourages females to explore unusual possibilities
Kirsten Brazier, Girls Fly 2, BC Gov't handout photo


n March 12-13, 2016 over 15,000 participants from around BC and beyond are expected at the Abbotsford International Airport, Abbotsford, BC for the largest outreach event of it’s kind, worldwide.

The event aims to address gender and cultural diversity in aviation, aerospace, marine and defence. Most of the target audience have no experience with, or exposure to these industries.


Photo: The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia/Government House handout


Free flights are offered to female first-time fliers to draw females of all ages to the airport and pique their interest in further exploring the hands-on ground activities. Advance registration is required for the free flights: www.girlsfly2.ca

As well, all participants are encouraged to try their hand at many aviation, aerospace, marine and defence activities. Civilian and non-civilian agencies and VIPs will be on hand with aircraft and ground support/tactical vehicles to explore.

The event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. No registration is required for the ground activities. The events are completely free to ensure no barriers to participation.


This is made possible thanks to the generous support of industry and community partners such as The University of the Fraser Valley; Teck Construction; Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training; Abbotsford International Airport and Vancouver Airport Authority.


The Lt. Governor learns more about aircraft structures and tries her hand at riveting at The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! 2015. Photo Jodi Marsh


The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! events are part of an outreach initiative founded by BC pilot Kirsten Brazier in 2012. Events are held annually during the week of International Women’s Day and in celebration of past, present and future women in aviation, aerospace, marine and defence.

Events organized by The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! have won several international awards and already set three world precedents as the largest single outreach event of their kind.

Despite the best recruiting and retention efforts of many, the number of women in technical and top executive/command areas in aviation, aerospace, marine and defence remains appallingly low.

Out of 24,505 professional pilots in Canada, only 5.5% of them are women. Out of 19,601 aircraft engineers, only 2.8% of them are women. Less than 3% of the technical/top command positions in the Canadian Forces are women.

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, male and female alike are affected by this perception message, which is continually reinforced by observation (lack of change), media, social media and advertising.

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! employs a hands-on approach to capture the interest and attention of the missing female demographic. “From shop floor to top floor, we’re inspiring future leaders!” says Kirsten Brazier, Founder.

Brazier is a professional pilot from the Lower Mainland, BC and she holds Airline Transport Ratings for both aeroplanes and helicopters. With over 20 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.

For more information email here or visit online at www.girlsfly2.ca


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