Pioneer pilot inspires job growth for women in aviation and aero - WRBL

Pioneer pilot inspires job growth for women in aviation and aerospace

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

The number of women in the aviation and space industry is growing. Wally Funk is a pilot pioneer that helped make this possible for many women in an industry that's predominantly men.

Sherry Goodrum is the Chairman of the Columbus Airport Commission. She works in a field were men are the majority.  

"These are industries that you very rarely see women in," says Goodrum.

But even so, there are more women working in aviation and aerospace than ever before. Goodrum says she's seen an increase in women pilots at the Columbus Airport. A big part of that is because of Wally Funk.  

Funk was one of the 13 American women selected to participate in Mercury 13. A program in the late 1950's that was a launching pad for women to get into America's space program.

"It's great to see someone who, back in the 50's and 60's was a trailblazer and made it easier for women today that would like to pilot an airplane or go into space," says Goodrum.

Funk has paved the way for many women in the aviation field and she was in Columbus on Sunday to continue that, by inspiring the younger generation.

Local Girl Scouts greeted Funk at the Columbus Airport. Funk gave the Girl Scouts a message of pursuing your dreams and commemorated the launching of their aviation pathway program. 

"It's about paving the way and making things easier for them to get where they want to be and what I want to really encourage is math, science, and space education because this is where we are going in our world today," says Funk.

Despite playing a huge role in getting women into space, she has yet to make it up there. She hopes to soon, but whether she makes it or not, she is confident one person who was at the Columbus Airport today will. 

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