ALPA Pilots Participate in Virtual WAI Conference

From locations across North America, ALPA members recently took part in the 32nd annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) Conference, conducted this year on March 11–12 by video conference. Within the virtual WAI Exhibit Hall, pilot volunteers from ALPA’s Education and Membership Committees and the President’s Committee for Diversity & Inclusion (PCDI) welcomed conference attendees to the union’s virtual booth. Discussions were conducted using the event’s exhibitor chat session, and questions from participants ranged from what type of membership benefits are available through ALPA to what it takes to become an airline pilot.

Working at this year’s booth were F/O Justin Dahan (FedEx Express), ALPA’s Education Committee chair; F/O Kandy Bernskoetter (FedEx Express), ALPA’s Membership Committee chair; and ALPA volunteers F/O Sara Baer (Alaska), F/O Claudia Zapata-Cardone (United), F/O Jade Lubinski (Endeavor Air), and F/O Kaori Paris (United). Along with a link to the Association’s Cleared to Dream webpage and other ALPA resources, the booth featured a special Association video encouraging young women who may not have thought about flying for a living to consider airline pilot careers.

WAI presentations included an ALPA prerecorded panel discussion titled “Strategies for Work-Life Balance as an Airline Pilot,” moderated by Bernskoetter and featuring four female airline pilots at different stages in their careers. The panel consisted of Baer, Paris, Capt. Mollie Osborn (Envoy Air), and F/O Catherine Rainey (FedEx Express).

F/O Stacey Jackson (WestJet) gave a presentation titled “Brain Power: Improve Your Performance as a Student, Decision-Maker, and Leader,” and other WAI panel discussions featured ALPA members

A conference sponsor of this year’s event, ALPA seeks to enhance the professional development of current and future ALPA pilots by promoting, inspiring, and supporting an accessible and sustainable airline career. Emphasizing the importance of supporting WAI and similar organizations, F/O Camila Turrieta (JetBlue), ALPA’s PCDI chair, observed, “We have a profound responsibility to continue the critical work in progress today that will lead to a diverse and inclusive profession for the pilots of tomorrow.”

This article was originally published in the May 2021 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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