Inspiring Women To Make An Impact For Women’s History Month

When you combine boundless enthusiasm and a passion for flying, you get my late Grandma Pat who was a pioneer in aviation for women.

Pictured above in 1976 (left) with her best friend and racing partner, Marilyn Copeland, my Grandma Pat was known as Wichita’s first lady of aviation.

She helped pave the way for female aviators around the globe – she served as President of the Ninety-Nines and was instrumental in helping to establish their headquarters.

Pat was a corporate pilot for several years, served as an aviation safety counselor to the FAA, and was the driving force behind Wichita Aeronautical Historical Association.

“She was a role model for [young pilots],” Loretta Gragg, the late director of the Ninety-Nines said. “I think Pat was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with her.”

Pat, like so many women before her, also had to overcome gender bias in the workplace.

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And I know firsthand. I’ve been called feisty, bratty, direct, bossy – the list goes on and on.

Any other females out there with me?

If I were a male, I’d be called determined and decisive.

I haven’t been called those things in years, but when I first started my professional career, I experienced firsthand the gender bias that many women face.

So why do we label women who are full of ambition and get stuff done?

For Women’s History Month, I want to bring to light the importance of encouraging women to be their authentic selves without giving them a “label.”

To not be afraid to leave a legacy and positive impact on whatever industry they are in.

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Even though my grandma Pat passed before I was born, I strive every day to approach everything that I do with the same tenacity and passion she had.

Here’s to all the female pioneers paving the way for women to forge ahead in their careers. The sky’s the limit.

Happy Women’s History Month.

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