For the first time in the airline’s history, the plane would be piloted by two black female pilots.
“Finally, you’re sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning,” she told passengers in the video. “You’ll be piloted by two female African-American pilots for the first time in the airline’s history.”
The passengers of the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Flight #361, flying from San Francisco to Portland, burst into applause. Because really, who doesn’t want to enjoy beautiful skies while being flown by awesome, history-making women?
The flight marks a much-needed change in the airline industry.
The disparity is frustrating, but Dillion-Wright and Cave’s accomplishment shows that change is coming.
In spite of what the numbers say, women continue to make it clear that male-dominated industries are no longer “boys clubs.”
In the 1920s, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to hold a pilot’s license. Her progress was inspiration for women around the world who wanted to work in male-dominated industries. Take, for instance, former Navy fighter pilot Tammie Jo Shults, who made an incredible life-saving emergency landing after debris from an engine failure broke open a plane window. Or Clara Lyde, Lauren Plagainos, and Wendy Tapia, all three of whom joined the Fire Department of New York, one of the most notoriously competitive fire departments in the country.
These women and countless others are showing us that they are not only good enough to be in these industries, they belong there.
Though we’re far from equal racial and gender breakdowns in numerous career fields, many women are doing the work to get us there.
With leaders like Dillon-Wright and Cave, it’s clear that we’re getting even closer.