British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA)

British Women Pilots’ Association Mission Statement:

“The BWPA is a membership organisation that exists to support women who fly or who are learning to fly, and to encourage participation in aviation by women who have yet to try it. Members are of all ages, experience and backgrounds but share a common passion. Your membership supports us in our outreach initiatives, and helps us fund scholarships for female pilots across the country.”

British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring, supporting, and developing women in all flight aviation career fields and all types of flying, including fixed-wing, rotary, gliding, microlights, and ballooning. The Association is run by committed volunteers-members who are like-minded, managing the organization to be dynamic and responsive to its members’ needs. Members of BWPA are of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds, sharing the passion for flying.

WW II post-war period was key in shaping future developments and strongly impacted people’s lives. Although they are generally periods of hope for a lighter future because they carry endless opportunities for massive transformation, they also bring deep social, political, and economic instabilities. Even though this transition period affected women and men alike, it strongly impacted women’s lives and identities. It is considered a turning point for women’s rights and societal roles.

Formed in 1955, the BWPA came into being ten years after World War II Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) women pilots were thanked for their service to their country. This was when women were allowed to work, but only in jobs regarded as appropriate for the sex, and they were expected to give up work to look after home, husband, and children upon marriage.

Nowadays, 5-6% of females fly professionally in the UK and worldwide, and similar percentages in general aviation. Much of this is due to a lack of information and opportunity, and BWPA targets to raise awareness and aspirations of women and, most importantly, young women.

The BWPA’s objectives are to promote the training and employment of women in aviation and to enhance practical schemes to assist women in achieving air licenses. Other aims are not only to raise awareness regarding aviation-related opportunities for females of all ages but to act as advisers to women involving the training required and the openings available in aviation. The target is to promote and encourage collaboration between members of the Association so that the members can meet and exchange knowledge of mutual interest and communicate views from the Association.

The BWPA’s objectives are achieved by raising awareness of careers in aviation, especially for young people, awarding scholarships, presenting awards to recognize the achievements of women in aviation, arranging flying weekends in the UK and abroad, arranging group visits to local places of interest, and publishing newsletters and articles.

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