Nonprofit Sisters of the Skies Seeks to Send Number of Black Female Pilots Soaring

PhenomenalMAG Staff  |  Step Into STEM

By the end of 2022,19,000 pilots will be needed worldwide, according to aviation experts, and many of us are already feeling the effects of this shortage.

Sisters of the Skies, a Houston-based non-profit, is trying to solve this issue. Young girls are encouraged to aim high in this endeavor.

Women of color who work as pilots make up less than 1% of the profession.

Influencing the upcoming diverse generation of professional pilots is crucial today more than ever, according to experts, because of the national pilot shortage. In order to provide pilots for its flight decks, the industry has another resource they may use, and that is what Nia Gilliam-Wordlaw and her team are here for.

In addition to being a veteran United pilot, Gilliam is also one of the founders of Sisters of the Skies.

“There was already a pilot shortage before the outbreak,” said Gilliam. “The issue was only made worse by the pandemic.”

Now in 2022, the demand for flights is soaring as people begin resuming travel, but the lack of pilots to operate those planes persists.

Gilliam declared, "If there isn't enough to eat, we starve. Consequently, if there aren't enough pilots to fly these aircraft, we can't go anywhere.

Recruiting a new generation of pilots has been a goal of the organization since its founding in 2017. In order to help these young women gain exposure, Gilliam said, "Sisters of the Skies is here to give that dream some wings."

Events that provide outreach allow young girls to interact with ladies who resemble them and experience flying firsthand.

"I want to examine the interior and all the buttons. I'm at ease in this place. All of the aircraft are pretty cool,” one of the numerous little girls who were fascinated by airplanes stated. “It's coo!”

Sisters of the Skies has provided $1 million in flight scholarships as well as mentorship and event hosting, due to contributions from local businesses and the community.

In addition to facing financial difficulties, many of these young women are unaware that this professional path even exists, Gilliam explained.

Diversify your stock options, according to financial experts worldwide, to ensure that you don't lose everything in the event of an event. In order to avoid missing the big picture, Gilliam advised against investing in just one stock portfolio or hiring just one crew for a plane.

Long-term, Sisters of the Skies hopes to contribute to finding a solution to the pilot shortage.

"Seeing the young girls express their gratitude for Sisters of the Skies is incredibly fulfilling for me as one of the founders. How significantly it has altered their life," Gilliam stated.

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