Ontario’s Porter Airlines is addressing the pilot shortage situation by sponsoring an initiative by the Northern Lights Aero Foundation to attract and retain women in aviation and aerospace careers.

The Northern Lights Mentorship Program is designed to connect aspiring industry professionals with experienced ones already working in the industry. Both female and male mentors will form a network to inspire, support and guide women in their pursuit of a career in the aviation/aerospace sector.

“Women are generally underrepresented in aviation and aerospace. The Northern Lights Mentorship Program helps break down barriers by connecting women with mentors who know the industry and generally have a passion for what they do and want to share it with other aviation enthusiasts,” said Porter Airlines president and CEO Robert Deluce. “There are many opportunities within aviation, from being a pilot to a maintenance engineer or dispatcher. Having someone to help navigate the path forward is invaluable.”

Adds Joy Parker Blackwood, President, Northern Lights Aero Foundation, “It is so important, in the pursuit of bringing in and retaining more women in this industry, to have a tool whereby they can have mentors suited to their needs, whether it is in simply considering a career, the struggles in training or discovering new pathways.” Blackwood continued, ‘The new mentorship program supports our mission to create career opportunities in aviation and aerospace for Canadian women.”

The program was launched at the annual Northern Lights Awards Gala held September 29.