Home Back New search Date Min Max Aeronautics Automotive Corporate Cybersecurity Defense and Security Financial Healthcare Industry Intelligent Transportation Systems Digital Public Services Services Space Blog Corporate Dream, Fly, and Make it Possible 11/01/2023 Print Share Ever since the days of Hypatia of Alexandria, one of the first female scientists, who designed an astrolabe and used it to track the positions of the stars in the sky, many women have contributed to our knowledge of the stars and the paths they travel. After World War I broke out in Europe, Amelia volunteered as a nurse to help care for wounded pilots. She soon realized that she wanted to become a pilot herself, so she decided she would learn how to fly. She did this by learning from another pioneer in the world of aviation, Neta Snook. How and when do we find our purpose in life and/or the career path we want to follow? If we touch down now in a time period a little closer to the present day, we can see the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti as a young girl, already dreaming about touching the sky. Combined with her passion for science fiction, this is what led her to focus her studies on aerospace engineering. Today she is serving as commander of the International Space Station, as the first woman to hold that position in its 20+ years of history. Meanwhile in Spain, the European Space Agency (ESA) recently selected a Spanish woman as a member of its astronaut reserve for the first time ever. Her name is Sara García Alonso, and she works as a researcher at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). Clearly, there is no shortage of inspirational women who have a passion for space. However, when we look at the data from the field of science, we see that according to the United Nations, women still represent only about 30% of those studying for STEM careers worldwide (with that percentage dropping another 3% for careers relating to information technologies and 8% for engineering careers). Therefore, with the aim of increasing visibility and leadership opportunities for women in the aerospace industry, and to help publicize the important role that space plays in our everyday lives, a local group of Women in Aerospace Europe (WIA‑E) was started up in Madrid in 2021. This is the 16th local group created for this non-profit association, and at the Madrid chapter of WIA‑E we are working on two fundamental goals: to support and raise awareness about the talented female professionals working in the aerospace industry, and to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, as a way of increasing their percentages in these fields at all educational levels. GMV, as a company committed to inspiring and encouraging our younger generations to share our passion for aerospace, and in order to promote this industry in today’s society, joined the organization in 2021 as a corporate member at the Silver level. Many GMV employees are now collaborating in the various working groups the association has organized: In the Mentoring and Personal Development group, we work on the skills that are most in demand in the professional world. We do this not only at the technical level but also in terms of career development, by providing assistance to professionals and university students in relation to planning their coursework and by providing career guidance. The Social Networks and Communication group posts news items about space, and about the organization itself, on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. This group’s aim is to reach the widest audience possible, to let them know about space-related initiatives and the people behind them. The STEM and Education group is primarily focused on giving talks on technical subjects at schools and universities in the Madrid region, as a way to inform and inspire the students there. We also act as a catalyst for the STEM plan at three schools, by arranging visits to museums and scientific centers during the first quarter, giving talks during the second quarter, and organizing a roundtable discussion on professional guidance during the third quarter. Last year we also began to participate in open house workshops and employment fairs, to encourage students attending those events to explore new career paths in the aerospace industry. The Events and Networking group is responsible for creating spaces for common understanding and collaboration among entities, organizations, and companies that have some of their priorities focused on increasing the visibility of the aerospace industry, including the role played by the women who are part of it. Last year this group organized some excellent events such as an interview with Teresa Riesgo (the Spanish government’s Secretary-General of Innovation); an open house afternoon with professionals from the industry during the Space Week event; and an interview and roundtable discussion led by Astronaut Lili and featuring four of our ESA astronaut candidates, at the public event entitled “Next Stop: The Stars” (a livestream presented by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and Marta Blanco, creator of the “Out of Orbit” social media sites). By making our own small contribution, and by sharing our experiences, dreams, and passion for something as special as outer space through associations such as Women in Aerospace Europe, we can help society move forward and rise higher along this pathway to the stars. Authors: Cristina Liebana, Patricia Cerrada, and Belén Martín Print Share Comments Your name Subject Comment About text formats Restricted HTML Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang target> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> Lines and paragraphs break automatically. Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.