Dear WIA Members,
Bridget L Chatman, Chair
I joined Women in Aerospace about 15 years ago, when I was asked by the current president at that time and colleague to create and moderate a panel of women leaders for an upcoming conference. My colleague enthusiastically told me all about WIA and I accepted the offer. We developed “There are steeper heels to climb for women in Aerospace!” A simple word play opting to use heels versus hills generated a packed session with standing room only. I had the pleasure to moderate an extraordinary panel of women believing in the mission and purpose of WIA. From that experience, I went on to join and lead committees over the years. So, it is an absolute honor to serve as the Chair of the Board today. With three weeks left in 2022, it’s hard to believe my first year as Chair is already coming to a close. This year has been an exciting and successful year for Women in Aerospace.As we wrap up the year, let's reflect upon and celebrate our numerous accomplishments.
We enjoyed yet another year of success with our virtual programming. In addition to the six highly attended Professional Development webinars held, we also received great responses to WIA’s Space Policy program, the 2nd Part of WIA’s Race & Gender Equity program, our program focused on NASA’s Budget with Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, and to cap things off, host an inspiring WIA Stories program with four NASA’s Center Directors, Dr. Laurie Leshin, Janet Petro, Jody Singer and Vanessa Wyche. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to engage with such accomplished and inspiring leaders in our industry and bring these important conversations to our members.
WIA has also been able to achieve new heights by expanding our presence and reach through social media, including our new campaigns, “Tuesday’s Trailblazer”, as well as, by engaging with a new base through the launch of WIA on LinkedIn. Within four months, WIA has accumulated over 1,000 followers on that platform and an 83% increase on other media platforms. WIA was also highlighted in a CNN piece earlier this year, alongside Deputy Administrator for NASA, Pam Melroy, where we addressed the lack of women in the space industry and efforts to excite women and young girls earlier in the academic pipeline. These achievements are a testament to the importance of our mission, and we look forward to continuing to grow our audience even further.
Additionally, WIA collaborated with the White House Space and STEM initiatives in 2022. We were elated to be listed as a key resource in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Fact Sheet, as well as be invited to attend September’s National Space Council Meeting in Houston, TX as invited guests of Vice President Harris. The Fact Sheet referenced above highlights WIA’s inaugural Allyship Award presented at the 37th WIA Annual Awards Dinner & Ceremony this past October. In fact, our 2022 Dinner was our most successful and most attended Awards Dinner in our history!
Looking ahead, we have exciting programs in the works for 2023. We also have plans to revamp our website and, of course, increase our reach across the industry to showcase the ‘thought leaders” in our membership. Stay tuned for announcements about our exciting and enriching offerings in the upcoming months.
I am incredibly proud of the success of WIA over the past year. I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to all of you - our members and partners - for your continued support and dedication to Women in Aerospace. Without you, we would not be able to do the incredible work that we do.
In this season of many spiritual and cultural observances, as well as the season of giving, compassion, and gratitude – I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!
Here’s to a great 2023!
Bridget Chatman (she/her/hers)
Women in Aerospace