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Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 28th 20, 04:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

Many of us were deeply disappointed with a recent post on RAS with respect to women. I felt it was very counterproductive to the goals and desires of many people to promote soaring.

Instead of engaging in that sad discussion, I reflected on some of my experiences surveying clubs in my region and how they have promoted soaring among women. Over recent years, I have given presentations at many clubs and had the privilege of spending a day learning about their cultures.

With respect to gender demographics, most clubs are unsurprisingly strongly male dominated, *with the exception of one*. And that is Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association.

When I visited them on the 4th of July, I noticed that they had quite a number of families and young women learning to fly. The gender balance of boy/girls among junior students was about even.

That got my attention and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why this club was such an outlier.

The busiest bee that day was Cathy Williams. She flies an LS8, though many know her in the 1-26 world as a routine competitor, having flown in over a dozen 1-26 contests all around the country. And that day I learned that she was the Chief Flight Instructor for her club and the president of WSPA.

And on the flight line it showed. Everyone listened to her. The male instructors showed a begrudging deference to her and a high level of respect.

Moreover, sitting around and listening to the conversations among the instructors and students, MASA's culture was friendly and inclusive. It was not a "Boy's Club". That is not to say boy's clubs are inherently bad or evil, but that's what most soaring clubs are, intentionally or not. And the attitude at a boy's club is not so much that women aren't "welcome", but that they have to abide by and tolerate the boy's club norms to stick around.

Not so in MASA. There was little to none of the crudeness that is associated with many social organizations. The young women were very comfortable around the older male instructors. And it was a very fun place to spend an afternoon.

I only spent an afternoon at MASA and there is probably much more to their story as to how they became this way. I am sure that many people other than Cathy contributed quite a bit to MASA's healthy social culture. However, I don't think even Cathy quite realizes how much of an impact she has made by being the leader that she is and it really showed that day.

This is not to say that every club has to have a strong female leader to achieve this result. That said, I thought it was revealing that while many organizations have a stated goal of promoting soaring among young pilots and women (or both!), that they don't realize how much they are interfering with accomplishing these goals due to their social cultures. And MASA, a club that apparently had resolved these issues one way or another, is doing very well toward promoting soaring among young pilots and women.

I don't think that MASA's accomplishments are a coincidence and it may bear some self-reflection among the soaring community to consider how they operate if they want to accomplish the same goals.

All the best,
Daniel

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  #2  
Old October 29th 20, 11:15 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tony[_7_]
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Posts: 17
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:46:31 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Many of us were deeply disappointed with a recent post on RAS with respect to women. I felt it was very counterproductive to the goals and desires of many people to promote soaring.

Instead of engaging in that sad discussion, I reflected on some of my experiences surveying clubs in my region and how they have promoted soaring among women. Over recent years, I have given presentations at many clubs and had the privilege of spending a day learning about their cultures.

With respect to gender demographics, most clubs are unsurprisingly strongly male dominated, *with the exception of one*. And that is Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association.

When I visited them on the 4th of July, I noticed that they had quite a number of families and young women learning to fly. The gender balance of boy/girls among junior students was about even.

That got my attention and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why this club was such an outlier.

The busiest bee that day was Cathy Williams. She flies an LS8, though many know her in the 1-26 world as a routine competitor, having flown in over a dozen 1-26 contests all around the country. And that day I learned that she was the Chief Flight Instructor for her club and the president of WSPA.

And on the flight line it showed. Everyone listened to her. The male instructors showed a begrudging deference to her and a high level of respect.

Moreover, sitting around and listening to the conversations among the instructors and students, MASA's culture was friendly and inclusive. It was not a "Boy's Club". That is not to say boy's clubs are inherently bad or evil, but that's what most soaring clubs are, intentionally or not. And the attitude at a boy's club is not so much that women aren't "welcome", but that they have to abide by and tolerate the boy's club norms to stick around.

Not so in MASA. There was little to none of the crudeness that is associated with many social organizations. The young women were very comfortable around the older male instructors. And it was a very fun place to spend an afternoon.

I only spent an afternoon at MASA and there is probably much more to their story as to how they became this way. I am sure that many people other than Cathy contributed quite a bit to MASA's healthy social culture. However, I don't think even Cathy quite realizes how much of an impact she has made by being the leader that she is and it really showed that day.

This is not to say that every club has to have a strong female leader to achieve this result. That said, I thought it was revealing that while many organizations have a stated goal of promoting soaring among young pilots and women (or both!), that they don't realize how much they are interfering with accomplishing these goals due to their social cultures. And MASA, a club that apparently had resolved these issues one way or another, is doing very well toward promoting soaring among young pilots and women.

I don't think that MASA's accomplishments are a coincidence and it may bear some self-reflection among the soaring community to consider how they operate if they want to accomplish the same goals.

All the best,
Daniel

Thanks, Dan, for the posting..."boys club norms" - such as peeing in the bushes and having nowhere to wash your hands? I think that's a big turnoff for women, and an increasing number of men in the days of COVID.

I've always admired a lady friend who towed at ASI and squatted in the sagebrush on the far side of the runway to pee. There was a bathroom building but she wouldn't want to hold up the launch.
  #3  
Old October 30th 20, 12:36 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:46:31 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Many of us were deeply disappointed with a recent post on RAS with respect to women. I felt it was very counterproductive to the goals and desires of many people to promote soaring.

Instead of engaging in that sad discussion, I reflected on some of my experiences surveying clubs in my region and how they have promoted soaring among women. Over recent years, I have given presentations at many clubs and had the privilege of spending a day learning about their cultures.

With respect to gender demographics, most clubs are unsurprisingly strongly male dominated, *with the exception of one*. And that is Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association.

When I visited them on the 4th of July, I noticed that they had quite a number of families and young women learning to fly. The gender balance of boy/girls among junior students was about even.

That got my attention and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why this club was such an outlier.

The busiest bee that day was Cathy Williams. She flies an LS8, though many know her in the 1-26 world as a routine competitor, having flown in over a dozen 1-26 contests all around the country. And that day I learned that she was the Chief Flight Instructor for her club and the president of WSPA.

And on the flight line it showed. Everyone listened to her. The male instructors showed a begrudging deference to her and a high level of respect.

Moreover, sitting around and listening to the conversations among the instructors and students, MASA's culture was friendly and inclusive. It was not a "Boy's Club". That is not to say boy's clubs are inherently bad or evil, but that's what most soaring clubs are, intentionally or not. And the attitude at a boy's club is not so much that women aren't "welcome", but that they have to abide by and tolerate the boy's club norms to stick around.

Not so in MASA. There was little to none of the crudeness that is associated with many social organizations. The young women were very comfortable around the older male instructors. And it was a very fun place to spend an afternoon.

I only spent an afternoon at MASA and there is probably much more to their story as to how they became this way. I am sure that many people other than Cathy contributed quite a bit to MASA's healthy social culture. However, I don't think even Cathy quite realizes how much of an impact she has made by being the leader that she is and it really showed that day.

This is not to say that every club has to have a strong female leader to achieve this result. That said, I thought it was revealing that while many organizations have a stated goal of promoting soaring among young pilots and women (or both!), that they don't realize how much they are interfering with accomplishing these goals due to their social cultures. And MASA, a club that apparently had resolved these issues one way or another, is doing very well toward promoting soaring among young pilots and women.

I don't think that MASA's accomplishments are a coincidence and it may bear some self-reflection among the soaring community to consider how they operate if they want to accomplish the same goals.

All the best,
Daniel


Nice constructive post Daniel.
Given that you did not say anything nasty or controversial it will quickly die.
Some good examples being set there.
UH
  #4  
Old October 30th 20, 02:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Godfrey (QT)[_2_]
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Posts: 321
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7:36:08 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:46:31 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Many of us were deeply disappointed with a recent post on RAS with respect to women. I felt it was very counterproductive to the goals and desires of many people to promote soaring.

Instead of engaging in that sad discussion, I reflected on some of my experiences surveying clubs in my region and how they have promoted soaring among women. Over recent years, I have given presentations at many clubs and had the privilege of spending a day learning about their cultures.

With respect to gender demographics, most clubs are unsurprisingly strongly male dominated, *with the exception of one*. And that is Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association.

When I visited them on the 4th of July, I noticed that they had quite a number of families and young women learning to fly. The gender balance of boy/girls among junior students was about even.

That got my attention and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why this club was such an outlier.

The busiest bee that day was Cathy Williams. She flies an LS8, though many know her in the 1-26 world as a routine competitor, having flown in over a dozen 1-26 contests all around the country. And that day I learned that she was the Chief Flight Instructor for her club and the president of WSPA..

And on the flight line it showed. Everyone listened to her. The male instructors showed a begrudging deference to her and a high level of respect.

Moreover, sitting around and listening to the conversations among the instructors and students, MASA's culture was friendly and inclusive. It was not a "Boy's Club". That is not to say boy's clubs are inherently bad or evil, but that's what most soaring clubs are, intentionally or not. And the attitude at a boy's club is not so much that women aren't "welcome", but that they have to abide by and tolerate the boy's club norms to stick around.

Not so in MASA. There was little to none of the crudeness that is associated with many social organizations. The young women were very comfortable around the older male instructors. And it was a very fun place to spend an afternoon.

I only spent an afternoon at MASA and there is probably much more to their story as to how they became this way. I am sure that many people other than Cathy contributed quite a bit to MASA's healthy social culture. However, I don't think even Cathy quite realizes how much of an impact she has made by being the leader that she is and it really showed that day.

This is not to say that every club has to have a strong female leader to achieve this result. That said, I thought it was revealing that while many organizations have a stated goal of promoting soaring among young pilots and women (or both!), that they don't realize how much they are interfering with accomplishing these goals due to their social cultures. And MASA, a club that apparently had resolved these issues one way or another, is doing very well toward promoting soaring among young pilots and women.

I don't think that MASA's accomplishments are a coincidence and it may bear some self-reflection among the soaring community to consider how they operate if they want to accomplish the same goals.

All the best,
Daniel


Nice constructive post Daniel.
Given that you did not say anything nasty or controversial it will quickly die.
Some good examples being set there.
UH


Also appreciate this post and agree.
  #5  
Old October 30th 20, 08:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Chip Bearden[_2_]
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Posts: 90
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

Nice constructive post Daniel.
Given that you did not say anything nasty or controversial it will quickly die.
Some good examples being set there.
UH


Also appreciate this post and agree.


I responded to Daniel privately with similar sentiments as Hank and John. Having contributed to the "other" recent post about women in soaring, I didn't want to invite controversy to this one but that doesn't make sense. Kudos to M-ASA (I've been flying contests there since 1983 and have always been impressed) and Daniel.

Chip Bearden
JB

  #6  
Old October 30th 20, 09:43 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie M. (UH & 002 owner/pilot)
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Posts: 1,353
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 11:46:31 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Many of us were deeply disappointed with a recent post on RAS with respect to women. I felt it was very counterproductive to the goals and desires of many people to promote soaring.

Instead of engaging in that sad discussion, I reflected on some of my experiences surveying clubs in my region and how they have promoted soaring among women. Over recent years, I have given presentations at many clubs and had the privilege of spending a day learning about their cultures.

With respect to gender demographics, most clubs are unsurprisingly strongly male dominated, *with the exception of one*. And that is Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association.

When I visited them on the 4th of July, I noticed that they had quite a number of families and young women learning to fly. The gender balance of boy/girls among junior students was about even.

That got my attention and I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out why this club was such an outlier.

The busiest bee that day was Cathy Williams. She flies an LS8, though many know her in the 1-26 world as a routine competitor, having flown in over a dozen 1-26 contests all around the country. And that day I learned that she was the Chief Flight Instructor for her club and the president of WSPA.

And on the flight line it showed. Everyone listened to her. The male instructors showed a begrudging deference to her and a high level of respect.

Moreover, sitting around and listening to the conversations among the instructors and students, MASA's culture was friendly and inclusive. It was not a "Boy's Club". That is not to say boy's clubs are inherently bad or evil, but that's what most soaring clubs are, intentionally or not. And the attitude at a boy's club is not so much that women aren't "welcome", but that they have to abide by and tolerate the boy's club norms to stick around.

Not so in MASA. There was little to none of the crudeness that is associated with many social organizations. The young women were very comfortable around the older male instructors. And it was a very fun place to spend an afternoon.

I only spent an afternoon at MASA and there is probably much more to their story as to how they became this way. I am sure that many people other than Cathy contributed quite a bit to MASA's healthy social culture. However, I don't think even Cathy quite realizes how much of an impact she has made by being the leader that she is and it really showed that day.

This is not to say that every club has to have a strong female leader to achieve this result. That said, I thought it was revealing that while many organizations have a stated goal of promoting soaring among young pilots and women (or both!), that they don't realize how much they are interfering with accomplishing these goals due to their social cultures. And MASA, a club that apparently had resolved these issues one way or another, is doing very well toward promoting soaring among young pilots and women.

I don't think that MASA's accomplishments are a coincidence and it may bear some self-reflection among the soaring community to consider how they operate if they want to accomplish the same goals.

All the best,
Daniel



As others have posted in this thread.....great post. Years ago, I either crewed or flew at MASA...good group then, sounds like good group now. Not the only site that just promotes Soaring (non gender specific) but all inclusive regardless of age, gender, finances....
Thanks Daniel.
  #7  
Old October 31st 20, 12:58 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,542
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 6:15:18 AM UTC-4, Tony wrote:

I've always admired a lady friend who towed at ASI and squatted in the sagebrush on the far side of the runway to pee. There was a bathroom building but she wouldn't want to hold up the launch.


We invest a considerable sum in 'Potty Parity' at my club, that being a well maintained porta-potty at both ends of the runway. There are flush toilets at midfield, but we realize that it is inhospitable to expect women to take that walk when men had the option of peeing in the woods.
  #8  
Old October 31st 20, 06:53 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Cindy Brickner
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Posts: 3
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Friday, October 30, 2020 at 4:58:36 PM UTC-7, son_of_flubber wrote:
On Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 6:15:18 AM UTC-4, Tony wrote:


We invest a considerable sum in 'Potty Parity' at my club, that being a well maintained porta-potty at both ends of the runway. There are flush toilets at midfield, but we realize that it is inhospitable to expect women to take that walk when men had the option of peeing in the woods.


Wow. How wonderful.

There is a similar article on AvWeb this week, about toilet access on airfields.
It is an issue, for sailplane and airplane flyers.
Cross-category and cross-gender.
https://www.avweb.com/insider/your-a...D=%CAMPAIGNID%
Given the aging of the pilot population, a suddenness of demand due
to physiologic changes might make those portables appreciated
by the entire club.


I've had to do all the options.
Locked knees and gritted teeth for a long wait.
A long hike to a port-a-port or the flush facilities.
A hike into the woods/sagebrush/cornfield (further than the guys, for privacy).

The thought to provide some better sanitation and privacy
is appreciated by all genders I am sure. A water bucket on an old bar stool, with a simple
hose line and check valve, makes a simple hand wash station too.

- - - - - - - - -- - - - -
It was a serious point of contention when a site (for whom I did some
contract teaching) decided to remove the ONLY port-a-pot for customers and staff.
It was described as a cost-saving measure.

We had to then explain to the customer ride-enplanements that if they
wanted to relieve before launch, they had to drive the half mile to the
"Airport Admin's" bathroom. Any savings on rental-Johns
were quickly eroded by the loss of appointment/flight time by waiting for
customers to return from the restrooms.
- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -

At Antelope Valley Soaring Club, the prior officers/members went to some effort to make a
welcoming environment on a dusty, hot, often-windy desert private airstrip. They installed a
10 x 30 clubhouse, built a full-length covered porch, dug a septic system and plumbed a half
bathroom. There was ample TP supplied throughout the Covid buying panic. The picnic area
offers benches and cooking sites. There is a kitchen area inside for prep ( still needs sink plumbing).
This summer, some time went into installing and plumbing an evaporative cooler for the
clubhouse. We have a bit to go to complete an electrical storage system to run it.
The generator seems a bit noisy for that job.

We do our best to be welcoming and inclusive to all guests and potential new members. The
membership numbers have been stable for four years, despite the normal influx and
departures. In these times, stable is an achievement! The four and a half gliders are not
busy. We hope to have the 10th-half flying for 2021, to make it five gliders available.

Come visit AVSC in SoCal on Saturdays. We only get stopped for wildfire TFRs and hurricanes . . . .


For the rest of Region 12? We've had Karen Willat welcoming all beginners in San Diego County for
a long while. A 2019 Private rated young lady pilot was lauded on their FB page, for a textbook perfect
landout from rope break, on her first passenger carrying flight!

The Cypress Soaring 50th Anniversary party (late 2019) was packed with Plenty of youngsters and families.
Their club's return to Hemet Airport, without hangars, clubhouses or ANY structures shows the
group running successfully on camraderie and cohesive commitment.

Skylark North at Tehachapi must have bent the internet, staying logged on to the WGC in Australia
this 2020 January, tracking Sarah Arnold, Sylvia Grandstaff and Kathy Fosha on their contest daily
adventures and blogs. There was lots of support, emotional, technical, financial from that pilot group
for soaring's racing ladies.

Are we perfect promoters? Nah.
Should someone call us out when we do a poor job? Please do, gently.
Preferably privately.
We've got a great thing here under this bushel basket, and it gets better with sharing.
Two students booked for tomorrow. One of each gender.

Still smiling,
Cindy B

  #9  
Old October 31st 20, 06:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
son_of_flubber
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Posts: 1,542
Default Promoting Soaring (Among Women) | Kudos MASA!

On Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 1:53:02 AM UTC-4, Cindy Brickner wrote:

Wow. How wonderful.


I honestly recommend to random people that I meet, 'Bring a picnic to the airport. Watch the glider's land. Take a ride if it looks fun.'

The more the merrier. https://sugarbushsoaring.com/about-us/our-airport
 




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