Girls encouraged to seek aviation careers - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Girls encouraged to seek aviation careers

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Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009 5:19 pm | Updated: 2:05 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Young Allie Sedgwick, a junior high school student from Chandler, wants to follow her father's career path into the sky.

But Shannon Albert-McDonough, an executive with Honeywell Aerospace, wants Allie and other girls to know there's lots of ways to reach the wild blue yonder.

Albert-McDonough and other women employed in the aviation/aerospace industry will be providing the younger generation with career advice Saturday at the third annual Wings to Fly event.

The program, held at Falcon Field's Commemorative Air Force Museum AZ Wing, is sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation. As of earlier this week, there were 50 spaces still available for girls ages 11 to 19; registration is free.

According to the organizers, women hold only 18 percent of nonpilot careers in aviation.

"We want to encourage girls to think outside the box when it comes to the typical career in aviation and aerospace," said Carole Glenn, education and outreach coordinator for ADOT's aeronautics division. "The field is full of opportunity for women when it comes to making their mark."

Albert-McDonough, in her role as Honeywell's director of services, supervises sales personnel, attorneys and financial experts.

"Aerospace is not just pilots and engineers, which is what comes to mind," Albert-McDonough said.

Among the speakers are a handler for a bomb-sniffing dog at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the executive director for Tucson's Pima Air and Space Museum and the Titan Missile Museum, a flight attendant and a nurse aboard a medical helicopter.

"Anything that you love, you can do that in aerospace," Albert-McDonough said.

Sedgwick is looking more toward a traditional career in aviation - like her father, who works in the aerospace industry. She loves planes, thinks there's something cool about the sky and has earned her Girl Scouts aviation patch.

"I went (to Wings to Fly) last year," Sedgwick said. "It was inspiring to see how many women were in such a male-populated field."

For more information, contact Glenn at or (602) 294-9144. The registration form can be downloaded at

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