Claudia Kessler - Launching WIA-Europe
First of all let me thank you for all the support we received so far.
I know a lot of good female aerospace engineers in Europe but only very few make into top positions. To better connect all these women and to enhance the exchange of their experience we, Simona and myself, felt the need to create an association for Women in Aerospace in Europe. We both have a lot of friends and colleagues in the US, who engage themselves strongly in Women in Aerospace in the US. Thus we wanted to start a similar organisation in Europe. Since we share the same mission and goals as Women in Aerospace in the US it was only natural for us to do it in a joint effort.
And once we decided to do it, it took us only 3 month to get together and announce the founding of Women in Aerospace Europe. During that time we worked very closely with our friends in the US setting up the European organisation. Already this experience proofed how good it is to have such a network established.
What the association will offer to women working in the Aerospace sector is first of all a networking platform to exchange experiences and ideas. But it will be much more than that: it will help to study, and solve, the problems still faced by women in the aerospace profession; we will cooperate for the improvement of the position of women in the aerospace profession; but we will also be an ambassador for Space in Society, Culture and Philosophy, areas in which women often are much better connected than their male colleagues. We will promote and honour outstanding work of women in technology, science and society through awards and honorary memberships.
We will advance aerospace education in schools and university, especially focusing on female students. Women in Aerospace in Europe is just a first step to a global organisation. We want to connect women working in aerospace and technology all around this planet, from the America to Australia and from Asia to Africa.
With the emerging space nations like China and India global space exploration will have a different look in the future and women will play an equal part in it.