Working a job in travel and aviation is as exciting as it gets. For the 8th annual Girls in Aviation Day (Sept. 24), 60 Hawaiian Airlines employees from across the company volunteered to give a group of 40 future female leaders a glimpse into a career at Hawaiʻi’s hometown carrier.
Girls in Aviation Day, organized locally by the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Aloha Chapter, drew young girls from Oʻahu, ages 12 to 17, to Hawaiian Airlines' Honolulu headquarters. On Saturday, the WAI Aloha Chapter and Hawaiian's Women in Aviation Employee Resource Group (WIA ERG) joined Chief Operating Officer Jon Snook in welcoming the eager students before embarking on a series of interactive, behind-the-scenes activities.
Throughout the day, each student received one-on-one mentorship from employees who shared their expertise, from maintenance and engineering to flight attendants and pilots. They also demoed exercises in the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner simulator and inflight training facilities, tested tools used daily to maintain its 61-aircraft fleet, learned about various corporate roles, and listened to the different career paths of Hawaiian employees.
“I think it’s important to the girls to see other women with careers in aviation. For me, I love being able to share my experience,” said Elouisa Oki, manager of engineering at Hawaiian Airlines. “At the end of the day, we want them to know and believe that they can do anything if they set their heart to it. That’s the bottom line.”
Members of the Scouts USA Kailua Girl Troop 311 and the Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi also joined the events, leveraging their Girls in Aviation Day experiences to earn a special aviation merit badge. Requirements for their badges included identifying and describing different aircraft types and explaining the primary control surfaces used from takeoff to landing.
“The full flight simulator was quite a complete experience to earn their merit badge,” said Joelle Simonpietri, assistant scoutmaster for Troop 311. “We appreciated the opportunity from Women in Aviation International, and a big mahalo to Hawaiian Airlines’ Wahine in Aviation group for their generous hosting of our eager Scouts. Our young girl leaders were given front row access to Hawaiian Airlines pilots, flight attendants, engineers, and the other supporting work groups necessary to support a large airline.”
“Exposing Hawaiʻi’s youth to aviation early on is an extension of our company’s purpose and values,” shared event co-organizer Celinda LoBosco, manager of material planning and WIA ERG member at Hawaiian Airlines. “We want to show our hoʻokipa (hospitality) and ensure that everyone – including the next generation – feels they have equal access to opportunities in the aviation industry.”
“We’re so thrilled to be able to host Girls in Aviation Day again this year, and I hope to see some of their faces at Hawaiian Airlines in the future,” LoBosco added.