Posts tagged with "pilot training school"

Celebrating The Visible Black Women in Aviation

Black women, like Bessie Coleman, have taken to the skies since the era of aviation broke dawn. The history of Black women in aviation is an important one, especially as part of a robust Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) movement to secure the sacred spaces Black women hold in industry and society. Black women have since time in memorial carried the heavy burden of discrimination, racism, inequality and outright mistreatment and misogamy that has historically blocked their access and participation at every level of man’s social construct.

With a feverish resistance to the DEI movement across the country, it is imperative that Black women are supported and protected. And in that spirit, it is fitting to recognize an important face in the aviation crowd: Chrystal Dunbar, OBAP Northeast Assistant Regional Director United Airlines – First Officer.

Dunbar is a first officer at United Airlines who got her start in aviation at Eagle Flight Pilot Training Academy in East Orange, NJ at the age of 13. According to her profile, “after receiving her pilot’s license, she went on to study at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire. Chrystal graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management/Flight Operations. After flying for Chautauqua Airlines for 5 years, Chrystal was hired by Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) in 2005. She is currently based in Newark, NJ and flying the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft.”

The aviation industry has historically been dominated by men, and African American women have faced significant barriers to entry and advancement. However, in recent years, there has been a growing movement to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in aviation.

Challenges faced by African American Women Pilots

African American women pilots face a number of challenges, including:

  • Stereotypes and biases: African American women are often stereotyped as being less capable pilots than men. This can lead to discrimination in hiring, promotion, and other areas.
  • Lack of role models: There are relatively few African American women pilots, which can make it difficult for young women to find role models and mentors.
  • Financial barriers: Aviation is a male-dominated industry. This can make it difficult for African American women to access the financial resources they need to pursue a career in aviation.

Efforts to promote DEI in aviation

There are a number of efforts underway to promote DEI in aviation. These include:

  • Mentorship programs: Mentorship programs can help young African American women connect with experienced pilots and mentors who can provide guidance and support.
  • Scholarships and grants: Scholarships and grants can help African American women overcome financial barriers to pursuing a career in aviation.
  • Outreach programs: Outreach programs can help to increase awareness of aviation careers among African American women.
  • Industry initiatives: The aviation industry is also working to promote DEI through initiatives such as the FAA’s NextGen Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

African American Women Pilots in Aviation

Despite the challenges they face, there are a number of African American women who have made significant contributions to aviation. These include:

  • Bessie Coleman: Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She went on to become a barnstorming stunt pilot and airshow performer.
  • Harriet Quimby: Harriet Quimby was the first American woman to earn a pilot’s license. She went on to become a famous air racer and set several world records.
  • Mae Jemison: Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space. She was a crew member on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.
  • Kimberly Bryant: Kimberly Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization that provides technology education to young African American girls.

The Future of DEI in Aviation

Chrystal Dunbar with her mom Joanne and daughter Isabella.

The future of DEI in aviation is bright. Dunbar who was supported by her mother Joanne to pursue a career in aviation is now supporting her own daughter, Isabella, who is also embarking on a successful career in aviation at Eagle Flight Squadron, Inc. There is a growing movement to promote DEI in the industry, and there are a number of African American women who are making significant contributions to aviation, including United Airlines First Officer, Chrystal Dunbar. With continued efforts, the aviation industry can become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

For those interested in pursuing a career in aviation can seek support and additional resources by clicking on the following links below: