My name is Lynda Meeks and I am the founder and Executive director of Girls With Wings, Inc., a non-profit organization encouraging more girls to have an interest in aviation. I started this effort over ten years ago because as a pilot myself, I was always discouraged by how many girls I met that weren't' at all interested in being a pilot because they thought it was a "boy's job!" I myself became a pilot in the Army, first, flying helicopters. I wasn't really brought up to do things mechanics do, but my parents did raise us to be adventurous and to always try new things. I am also quite stubborn, and when people told me that there were things I couldn't or shouldn't do, it made me that more determined to prove them wrong.
After the helicopters, I started flying airplanes. Turboprops at first, and then jets. Currently I am a simulator instructor in Hong Kong for an airline here. No matter where I am, in whatever job I'm doing, in whatever company, there's always fewer women than men. Even young girls, when asked out of one hundred airline pilots, how many do they think would be girls, they say half. It's really only about 3-5%, depending on the specific case. Very often in meetings I am the only woman there.
This isn't the way it has to be. Everyone is different, and although it would be stereotyping to say women or men have greater skills in one area or another, nearly everyone has to balance their strengths and weaknesses in order to do the best job they're capable of.
In my many activities promoting aviation to girls, I try to stress one important fact: that you can do anything you want to do if you're willing to break it down into smaller pieces and accomplish one task at a time. We didn't get to the moon by just deciding to one day. If you watch the movie "Hidden Figures" you will see it took a diverse group of people a lot of time and effort to get there.