An organization on a mission to inspire young females to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or math hopes to bring program events to Alberta.
Kirsten Brazier, Achieve Anything Foundation president and founder, organized the first The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too event in 2012 and it has grown every year – the foundation was officially founded in 2016. The next Sky’s No Limit event is in March in Abbotsford, B.C.
Brazier said she hopes Red Deerians and other Albertans make the trip to the event.
“We aren’t too far from you. We’re providing an event with some incredible military aircrafts from all over.
“The more demand and interest we have, the more likely I can get the agencies who support us to take this thing across Canada and obviously we would start with our neighbours closest to us in Alberta,” she said.
The foundation relies on agencies and industry supporters – it was previously funded by the B.C. government.
Brazier said just 5.8 per cent of professional pilots and 2.3 per cent of aircraft engineers are women. Women account for only 4 per cent of the technical trades and less than 3 per cent of the top command positions in the Canadian Forces, she added.
Locally, the Red Deer Flying Club has roughly 35 members – about five of whom are female.
Brazier, a pilot for 24 years, said it was the same problem everywhere she worked.
“There’s a distinct lack of cultural and gender diversity and I guess I just got fed up and wanted to do something about it,” she said.
Brazier said some high schools in Alberta have reached out and shared their interest in events coming to the province.
The Achieve Anything Foundation has other annual events in B.C. to get girls and women interesting in careers in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.
“All of these industries want diversity, whether it be cultural or gender, and they’re trying to figure out how to do it. So far nothing has worked,” said Brazier.
Brazier said the foundation’s events take a hands-on approach, which seems to get people interested.