Welcome to the March issue of Metropolitan Airport News. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are delighted to bring to you a feature with Cheryl McKissack Daniel in the spotlight. Ms. McKissack Daniel has an amazing background to share with us and a compelling story of hope, perseverance and determination. Her family has been well known in the construction industry for generations, way ahead of their time from the start. McKissack & McKissack has been engaged in PHL, LGA, EWR, and JFK for years, currently working on the New Terminal One build. We were happy to have Ms. McKissack Daniel meet with us to discuss her family legacy, share her work with engaging young women and people of color in the industry and how she is taking the family business into the future.
When we think of Women’s History Month, we often think about the pioneers that paved the way for women in this industry. People like Bessie Coleman, Harriet Quimby, Amelia Earhart, and organizations like the Ninety-Nines often come to mind along with so many others. And while their courage and tenacity made them all ‘firsts’, there is still much to do to make aviation a common and familiar industry for women to gravitate towards while pursuing their careers.
Similar to the construction industry, the rate of women engaged in aviation-centered careers has always been and continues to remain very low. When it comes to the field of aviation, we always need to do more. The rate of female commercial pilots hovers around 7.4%. Mechanics are even lower at around 2.6%. The barriers seem to be lack of youth engagement and work, life, and family balance.
There are many organizations out there that are bringing the industry to the forefront for young people and in particular girls. Groups like Women in Aviation International, the Ninety-Nines’s and local places like the Cradle of Aviation are all working hard to bring awareness to the community. If you have a thriving company at the airport, you would be doing a great thing for the future of our industry to connect with one of these organizations to offer an opportunity to bring students out to your facility to learn about aviation.
I hope you enjoy the issue and I look forward to seeing you around the airports!