SLWIA Partners with SLWE to Provide Aviation Career Exposure to Bright Light Youth Empowerment Organisation

In an effort to involve more women in the aviation industry as approved by the Sierra Leone Civil
Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and the Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA), the Sierra Leone Women in
Aviation (SLWIA) has partnered with the Sierra Leone Women of Engineers (SLWE) to successfully hold
the first Aviation career exposure/mentoring to the Bright light Youth Empowerment Organization.

The trip was facilitated by the Sierra Leone Women Engineers, an organization that supports University
and school going girls in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematic, and hosted by the Sierra
Leone Women in Aviation which was formed in April 2016.

Having more women in aviation has been one of the key priorities of the International Civil Aviation
Authority (ICAO). In line with that agenda, the SLCAA and SLAA have been actively involved in plans to
get more women in drive to build a sound aviation industry in Sierra Leone.

The one day event started with an  introduction of the industry as a forward looking industry, which
stimulates development in various spheres including entrepreneurship and the global connectivity for
cultural and business purposes. Members of the SLWIA led the conducted tour and answered some
questions asked by the girls in respect of their work, experiences and knowledge in the field.

Receiving the young girls at the Freetown  International Airport (FNA), the President of SLWIA, Ms
Mallay Betty Braima said there was a pressing need to ensure that competent and qualified female
aviation professionals should be equally represented to improve efficiency, continuity and growth in the
industry. In promoting the culture of sustainability, women should be able to fill the gender gap and
start an early girl watch and mentoring in fields that are underrepresented.

She said: “SLWIA Ladies consist of professionals, particularly women, who have successfully pursued
their interest in aviation and are using the platform to inspire young Sierra Leonean girls to realise their
dreams. Aviation must build on the positive shift in the Sierra Leonean society to accommodate youths,
especially girls so as not to let barriers marred their dreams of becoming an aviation expert.”

The President further urged women working in the various sectors of the country’s aviation sector to
give back and contribute to the development of aviation by working efficiently and showing great
results after training and job placements.

Engineer Lyat Mason, the only certified female aerodromes Engineer, TECHWOMEN Fellow, and Vice
President of the SLWIA used her current position to create partnerships with the SLCAA, SLWIA, and
SLWE  to facilitate the access of Bright Light Empowerment Youth program in order to have their first
girl mentoring program at the Freetown International Airport.  

She maintained that dreams of becoming Airline commercial Pilots, Airport Engineers, flight engineers
and the host of other possible careers needs are achievable, adding that the SLCAA has kick started
numerous women and girls initiatives by supporting SLWIA in various ways such as assisting SLWIA to
become a special interest group, advancing careers of women into senior positions, granting technical
training which saw the achievement/accomplishment of a female Aerodrome Engineer.

The Vice President of SLWE, Engineer Loiuse Chaytor expressed her delight in the initiative, stating that
they were amazed and inspired by the girls mentoring program. She also mentioned that it was the first
time they had the opportunity to take a tour to view airport facilities. “I want to thank the leadership of
SLCAA, SLAA for giving us and the kids the golden opportunity to be exposed to the aviation industry.
Special thanks to Sierra Leone Women in Aviation for hosting us and giving us a life time of memories.

The Freetown International Airport is also on track with the gender agenda as it now has two female Air
traffic controllers, women firefighters, Duty Managers, Safety Managers and recently sponsoring
advanced training in Airport Planning and Management for women.