Women in Aviation International

Written by Hannah Fowler

Women in Aviation International (WAI) is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. Founded in 1990 by Dr. Peggy Chabrian, WAI has grown from a small group of dedicated individuals to a global network with tens of thousands of members across continents, including both women and men who seek to inspire and stand for gender diversity in aviation and aerospace industries.

WAI's mission is to cultivate and promote the success and advancement of women within aviation by providing resources, education, and opportunities. The organization achieves this mission through a variety of initiatives, including an annual International Women in Aviation Conference that serves as a premier event for networking, professional development, and inspiration. The conference plays a crucial role in uniting members, offering career opportunities, and highlighting the achievements of women in aviation-related careers.

Additionally, WAI supports its members and the wider community through scholarship opportunities, mentorship programs, and outreach activities aimed at inspiring future generations. To date, WAI has distributed millions of dollars in scholarships to its members, helping to fund their education and training in various aviation fields, such as piloting, aerospace engineering, aviation maintenance, and air traffic control, among others.

The organization also promotes educational outreach to younger individuals through its Girls in Aviation Day, an annual event designed to introduce girls to the wide array of career opportunities in aviation and aerospace through hands-on activities, presentations, and meetings with role models in the industry. This event underscores WAI's commitment to breaking down gender barriers and fostering a more inclusive environment within the aviation sector.

Women in Aviation International also plays an advocacy role, supporting policies and initiatives that encourage equality and diversity in the aviation and aerospace industries. By spotlighting the contributions of women in aviation, advocating for equitable opportunities, and providing support and resources, WAI endeavors to ensure that women's involvement in aviation continuously grows, enriching the industry with diverse perspectives and talents.

In summary, Women in Aviation International represents a transformative force within the aviation and aerospace sectors, working tirelessly to ensure that women have the support, resources, and opportunities needed to succeed and lead in these fields. Through its comprehensive programs and initiatives, WAI not only champions the cause of women in aviation but also contributes significantly to the industry's overall development and progress.


Bonita Jean Olson Memorial Scholarship

Multiple awards worth
Grade Level
High School Seniors & College Students

Bonnie started her career as an educator, moving on to the aviation and aerospace industry, and spending almost 30 years working in commercial aviation and space programs. Upon retirement her passion for aviation blossomed while volunteering...