Women still hold only six per cent of the jobs in the aviation industry -- seriously?
In 2013? At a time when by far the majority of university students are women?
Veteran pilot, University of Manitoba Prof. Jill Oakes, other fellow pilots and post-secondary educators intend to put a serious dent in that shortfall by offering plane and helicopter rides to 500 women at St. Andrews Airport Saturday to celebrate International Women's Day.
"The U of M, along with the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University and Red River College are setting up career/recruitment booths sharing the aviation-related programs available in those training centres," Oakes said.
WestJet, Air Canada, and regional airlines are all going to be at the event touting the wide variety of professional jobs that await women, Oakes said.
"The cut-away engine will be operating so we can actually see how an engine works... thanks to Red River College Stevenson Campus," she said.
There will be simulators on site and other equipment allowing females the chance to see what kind of job opportunities are available.
The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Oakes believes it is the largest event of its kind anywhere in the world.
There will be draws for more than 100 prizes, including a free flight to anywhere Air Canada flies in the world.
Women wanting to register for a flight can register online at www.womenofaviationweek.org/rsvpmaker/winnipeg and scroll down past the logos or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WomenFlyFree.