Celebrating International Women's Day

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This year’s International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March and the theme of 2024 is ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress’.

Here at SHY Aviation, we are passionate about women’s rights and gender equality, and as global aviation specialists we are eager to honour the women who have played a vital role in accelerating progress throughout the history of aviation.

Read on to find out all about 3 of the most important female pioneers in the world of aviation whose achievements have shattered barriers and provided inspiration for the generations that followed.



Amelia Earhart is an icon of aviation, who emerged as one of the most celebrated figures in the early 20th century, breaking barriers and setting records that would pave the way for women. Her daring achievements not only challenged the social norms at the time but also opened the skies to future generations of women pilots.


Earhart's most notable accomplishments include being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, a testament to her courage and skill. This historic flight was more than a record; it was a powerful statement about women's capabilities and potential in the demanding field of aviation. Beyond this, Earhart was a tireless advocate for women in aviation. She co-founded The Ninety-Nines, an international organisation of women pilots, which provided a support network and promoted the advancement of women in the field. Her work went beyond mere advocacy.


Amelia Earhart's legacy is not only marked by the records she set but also by the indelible impact she had on the perception of women in the world of aviation. Her pioneering spirit and unwavering belief in equality helped to inspire a generation of women to pursue their dreams, no matter how unreachable they might seem. She was instrumental in breaking down the societal and institutional barriers that hindered women's full participation in aviation.







Ruth Law, a heroine of early aviation, played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of the industry for women. Her career, marked by daring flights and record-breaking achievements, showcased not only her exceptional skills as a pilot but also her unwavering determination to advance the status of women.


One of Law's most remarkable accomplishments came in 1916, when she broke the American cross-country distance record by flying from Chicago to New York City. This feat was not just a testament to her flying prowess but also served to challenge the prevailing perceptions of women's capabilities in such a demanding field. By undertaking such bold endeavours, Law helped to erode the gender barriers that existed in aviation and broader society.


Beyond her achievements in the cockpit, Ruth Law was instrumental in advocating for the inclusion of women in military aviation roles during World War I. Although her proposals were not adopted at the time, her efforts laid the groundwork for future generations of women to serve as military pilots, illustrating her forward-thinking vision for the role of women in aviation.


Ruth Law's pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible for women in the early 20th century, Law paved the way for future aviators and demonstrated the invaluable contributions women could make to the field. Her work and advocacy continue to inspire those in the aviation industry, underscoring the importance of diversity and the potential of women to excel in all aspects of aviation.





Bessie Coleman's legacy transcends her death in an aviation accident in 1926. She left behind a powerful legacy as a symbol of perseverance and equality, inspiring countless others to take to the skies and pursue their dreams without regard to societal limitations. Her life and work continue to be celebrated, reminding us of the courage required to enact change and the role of pioneers like Coleman in the advancement of women and minorities in aviation.


Beyond her aerial triumphs, Coleman was a passionate advocate for the empowerment of African Americans and women. She used her prominence to encourage others to pursue flying, aspiring to establish a school for black aviators. Her vision was one where the skies were accessible to all, irrespective of gender or race.


Coleman's journey to becoming a pilot had many obstacles due to the racial and gender prejudices of the time. Undeterred, she moved to France to realise her dream. Upon returning to America, she became a successful air show pilot, known for her daring aerial stunts and for refusing to participate in events that discriminated against African Americans.

Bessie Coleman stands as a luminary in the annals of aviation history, not only for her ground-breaking achievements as a pilot but also for her role in shattering racial and gender barriers in the early 20th century. She was the first African American woman and the first Native American to hold a pilot license, obtained from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in 1921.



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