by Ivanna Page
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, 6.61% percent of pilots are women in the US in 2013. Less than 1% of female aviators are African American Women. How many African American female pilots do you know?
In a society where everyone wants to travel, learn, and explore- Why are African American girls are constantly left behind socially and financially when there are so many freedoms and opportunities to grasp? According to the Society of Women Airline Pilots, there are only 450 women WORLDWIDE that are airline captains. According to the FAA in 2013, 6.61% percent of pilots are women in the US. The SWAP does not even count the number of African American women that are airline captains because there are so few .
What are some specific reasons that girls might think they cannot fly? Maybe its the media, cultural standards, socioeconomic conditions. I think its fear of difficulty that blocks most people from reaching the sky; because the sky is the limit, and they think they can't reach it. Luckily, flying teaches you to have self esteem & confidence.
Travel changes your perceptive and opens doors. Experiences teach us to develop and be less ignorant in a world- even where the media’s messages can oftentimes be misleading and outright false. Perspective is vital in understanding the world we live in. For example, a size 14 girl might believe she is fat and tell herself she needs to work harder to lose weight in America; but if she had the opportunity to travel to Fiji and take in the culture there she would be perceived as healthy, wealthy and fertile. Understanding the world around you is vital to your growth.
What do you learn from flying? Learning to fly teaches communication, consistency and responsibility. Communication is a huge factor in aviation and you must learn to listen before you speak and comprehend before you act. You learn very fast how to take orders and you learn a respect for authority of ATC who will guild and help you get to your destination. You learn to organize your resources, plan for the future, and do it in an organized consistent way. You learn to value that consistency of a checklist and balance critical thinking when life doesn’t go as planned. In the cockpit, there are only two things that can take away your securities; yourself and your plane. The great thing is; as a pilot you control both. In the cockpit, you learn to be a leader; trust yourself and it’s that self-esteem and leadership that could really alter the way young black girls are viewed. Exposure to flight gives girls the opportunity to reach for something greater than the icons around them on BET and VH1. Opportunity in a country where most black girls learn to put a African in front of the American in their names; can mean everything to a young lady growing up to learn herself. If you give a girl an airplane, and teach her how to fly it; you give her the world. Against all odds, still we rise.
Congratualations Ivana Page on your new crown Miss North Nashville USA!
Question: Ivana, when was first flight?
A: My first flight was in 2011, at the Scott Air Force base areo club in Belleville, Illinois. I say in a old Cessna with a older (white) man who was surprisingly the first to tell me, "You've got natural talent kid don't let anyone hold you back." I aspire to finish my CFI rating and open a non for profit to teach minority females how to fly airplanes. The process is definitely not easy but I didn't come for easy, I came to win, to rise, to prosper, to conquer, to survive ..to fly.