Houston-based nonprofit Sisters of the Skies is inspiring women to become aviators. According to KHOU 11, the Sisters of the Skies recognize the lack of outreach for young girls in the industry to combat the national pilot shortage.
Statistics report that less than 1% of pilots are women of color; it seeks to solve the shortage problem by diversifying the field. Sisters of the Sky co-founder Nia Gilliam-Wordlaw said: “The industry has another resource they can tap into to have pilots for their flight decks, and that’s what we are here to do.”
Not only is she Sisters of the Skies’ co-founder, but she’s also a veteran United Airlines pilot. “Prior to the pandemic, we were already facing a pilot shortage. The pandemic just exacerbated the situation.”
However, the issue persists past the pandemic, and the Sisters of the Skies have been committed to its goal since its inception in 2017.
Gilliam-Wordlaw said, “If there’s not enough food to eat, we starve. So, if there are not enough pilots to fly these planes, we don’t get to travel. Sisters of the Skies is here to give that dream some wings and get these young ladies exposed.”
NBC News reported that the Houston nonprofit conducts outreach and mentoring and hosts informative events. Sisters of the Skies is also committed to reserving scholarships to support those who otherwise wouldn’t be financially able to attend flight school.
Reach for the Sky✈️ Help Us To Inspire the Next Generation of SOS 👩🏾✈️ DONATE on Website Belowhttps://t.co/KIkwrkO3Re#scholarships #sistersoftheskies #blackfemalepilots #femalepilots #pilotsofinstagram #ladypilot #femalepilot #aviation #womeninaviation #blacktwitter pic.twitter.com/wt3RYK6O1W
— Sisters of the Skies (@SistersoftheSky) September 10, 2022
Gilliam-Wordlaw explained, “A lot of these young ladies don’t just have the challenge financially, but they don’t know that this career field exists.”
“You don’t want to put just one group of stocks in investing, one group of people flying a plane, because you’re going to miss out on the big picture. Sisters of the Skies believes they can be a part of the pilot shortage solution in the long run.
“Being one of the founders, it’s so satisfying to see the young girls say how much they appreciate Sisters of the Skies. How much it’s changed their lives.”
CBS and KHOU showcased several young girls who participated in the Sisters of the Skies program, and they testified to the impactful experience firsthand.