Attending the Women in Aviation conference in Dallas was nothing
short of inspiring. Not only was this my
first year as an attendee, but it was also
my first year as an exhibitor and my
company’s (JETPUBS Inc.) first year as
a sponsor. Truly not knowing what to
expect, I was amazed by the feeling of
camaraderie and positivity upon attending many fantastic events and meeting
many incredible women.
As a new member of WAI, the first
event I attended was the New Members Coffee. It was a sigh of relief walking into a room full of people who, like
me, were experiencing this conference
for the first time. It didn’t matter that
one woman at my table worked for a
large aircraft manufacturing company
or another woman received an impressive WAI scholarship. At that moment
we were all just women taking in this
amazing experience together.
That evening I attended the Opening Reception and continued to meet
women in a variety of different occupations, including a lobbyist for an aerospace union in Washington, D.C., and
a corporate pilot. These women talked about their stories and their travels,
their struggles and their successes. As a
young woman in the industry, they encouraged me not to box myself in to one
place or one position, but rather to explore many different opportunities and
never settle for anything less than what
makes me truly happy.
One of my favorite events of the en-
tire conference was Saturday’s Gener-
al Session. At this event I heard the sto-
ries of Amelia Rose Earhart, Lt. Col. Jen
Nothelfer, and Heather “Lucky” Penney.
These three women are involved in the
industry in different ways, yet they all
take “girl power” to the next level!
If there’s one piece of advice I would
give to a first-time WAI attendee, it
would be put yourself out there and soak
up the stories of the women around you.
While branching off on your own can
be nerve-wracking at times, it is abso-
lutely nothing compared the terrific sto-
ries you’ll hear and the memories you’ll
take with you. Heading home from this
conference, I am taking with me an in-
creased understanding of the industry,
stories from individuals who soar to new
heights every day, and a feeling that is
nothing short of inspired.
—Lauren Olson, WAI 55815
“I was amazed
by the feeling
Lauren Olson, first-time attendee