InterDrone Expo and Women and Drones are partnering for the 2020 InterDrone Expo in August. Since its founding in 2017 Women And Drones has continued to introduce initiatives to support its core mission of increasing the economic opportunities of women in the UAS/UAM industry. To kick off 2020, the organization is introducing two new programs. Dr. Tulinda Larsen leads the new membership and jobs board initiatives. Dr. Larsen is a drone pilot, a private pilot and an economist. We caught up with Tulinda to learn more about the new Women and Drones Jobs Board initiative.
What inspired you to get involved with the drone industry?
In 2016, I decided, after 40 years, to pivot from commercial manned aviation because it was clear that the future of aviation is in unmanned systems. My first introduction to the drone industry was at the 2016 InterDrone Expo.
What do you like the most about attending InterDrone Expo?
InterDrone Expo has a very clear focus and provides the commercial drone industry a forum for discussion of a wide-range of topics from Women and Drones to future drone applications with hundreds of speakers, panels, and workshops. InterDrone Expo is the must attend event for anyone in the commercial drone industry. We are excited to be part of the 2020 InterDrone Expo in August to network with other drone pilots, service providers, drone engineers and developers, drone manufacturers, videographers and enterprise drone end-users at the only conference dedicated to expansion of commercial drone use globally.
Your Women and Drones Job Board is launching soon. What can we expect, how is it different from other industry job boards?
In doing our research we found there are 26,000 jobs available every day in the drone industry. Every company that responded to our survey is looking to hire. Companies told us at InterDrone Expo 2019 that they just can”T find women applicants. We launched the Women and Drones Jobs Board to provide companies to leverage our network of more than 6,000 to find qualified candidates. In addition to jobs, we are offering resources to job seekers and companies to provide tools for balancing the gender equation.
Women represent roughly 5% of the industry. What can we collectively do to change the ratio?
Education, education, education. Start young with STEM programs to get girls interested in the UAS industry. Introduce young women in college to the UAS industry through programs such as our Jobs Board. Later this year Women and Drones will be introducing a Student Ambassador program to have UAS advocates on college campuses. Plus, educate companies on the benefits of balancing the gender equation and helping them to find women candidates for jobs. Women And Drones educational and outreach efforts include books and programs for children, especially girls, to encourage interest in drone technology and other STEM subjects, and now the Jobs Board to help advance the careers of women in the UAS and UAM industry.
What advice would you offer someone looking to get started in the drone industry?
Just do it! We are here to support your endeavors. Whether you are a business professional, a commercial drone pilot, a recreational pilot, small business or a major corporation, Women and Drones has resources to support your career. Join Women and Drones and become part of a dynamic organization that encourages women in the UAS and UAM industry.
About Women And Drones:
Sharon Rossmark is the founder and CEO of Women & Drones. She is an author, international speaker and FAA drone pilot.
Wendy Erikson, is an author, host of the Women & Drones Podcast Series and leads digital marketing for the company. She is also an Emmy Award-Winning journalist and FAA drone pilot.