Advancing Women in Aviation

By Corey Kuhn, Contributing Writer
ALPA national officers and volunteers from the Membership; Education; and Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion Committees staff the Association’s booth at this year’s Women in Aviation International Conference.

The 35th Annual Women in Aviation International Conference welcomed a record-breaking number of attendees this year as more than 5,200 gathered from March 21–23 in Orlando, Fla. And once again, ALPA pilots were front and center, connecting with members and sharing the love of aviation with the next generation of airline pilots. Capt. Wendy Morse, ALPA’s first vice president, and Capt. Sean Creed, ALPA’s vice president–administration/secretary, joined pilots from ALPA’s Education; Membership; and Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion Committees. “The Education Committee is tasked with helping to promote the airline piloting profession,” said F/O Justin Dahan, ALPA’s Education Committee chair. “The committee and its many volunteers are committed to providing a link between the next generation of aviators and airline pilots, helping to ensure a robust supply of future pilots.”

F/O Elly Mansourian (Air Canada), back right, and F/O Jade Lubinski (United) answer questions about ALPA and the piloting profession.
An ALPA volunteer teaches a young girl to land an aircraft.

The conference featured a lineup of inspirational speakers, dozens of educational and professional development sessions, and an exhibit hall filled with more than 200 aviation and aerospace exhibitors. In addition, ALPA hosted several events and staffed a booth, which attracted hundreds of current and future pilots who wanted to talk about the benefits of being an ALPA member, of which 7 percent are women, and how to pursue an aviation career.

Capt. Kandy Bernskoetter (FedEx Express), left, ALPA’s Membership Committee chair, moderates a discussion on balancing work and home life with ALPA pilots and fellow aviation crewmembers.

ALPA’s networking event and education panel were among the most well-attended breakout sessions during the three-day event. During the “Coffee & Conversation” gathering, Morse and Creed, along with several pilot volunteers, connected with current and aspiring aviators and provided feedback on résumés. ALPA’s Membership Committee-sponsored panel, moderated by Capt. Kandy Bernskoetter (FedEx Express), the Membership Committee chair, was a standing-room-only event that focused on how to “Keep Relationships Strong and Find a Balance Between Home and Your Career.”

Capt. Sara Baer (Alaska), center, talks with current and aspiring pilots about issues affecting the profession.

Save the Date

Mark your calendars and join ALPA at the 36th annual Women in Aviation International Conference, which will take place in Denver, Colo., March 27–29, 2025.

F/O Justin Dahan (FedEx Express), ALPA’s Education Committee chair, bottom right, along with other ALPA members, speaks with aspiring aviators about career pathways.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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