To mark International Women's Day, happening today (March 8), Air Canada and CAE have announced the recipients of the 2023 Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to Canadian women studying to become commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers.
This year, the two Montreal-based global aviation companies have joined forces to double the number of recipients, awarding scholarships to eight young women from across Canada.
In addition to the $5,000 scholarship, CAE's four recipients will become CAE Women in Flight – Air Canada Ambassadors and help inspire more women to become commercial pilots.
The Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship was established in honour of Air Canada's first female pilot to help foster the next generation of women following in her trailblazing footsteps and is awarded annually in conjunction with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.
"Air Canada is extremely proud of the leadership position it has taken in cultivating diversity, equity and inclusion in the aviation industry, with women well represented at every level and across all branches of the airline. On International Women's Day, being able to provide support to these incredibly talented and driven young women through the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship firmly demonstrates Air Canada and CAE's work fostering the next generation of women in their pursuit of careers in this exciting industry. We know how crucial this support is to young women seeking non-traditional aviation careers, and we have seen results first-hand from the success of past winners. Congratulations to this year's winners," said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, executive vice-president, chief human resources officer and public affairs at Air Canada.
Nick Leontidis, CAE's group president, Civil Aviation noted that, currently, only five per cent of commercial pilots are women, and the newest Women in Flight Ambassadors will join six others to help spread the word "about this exciting profession and serve as role models to young women who aspire to a career at the controls of a commercial airliner."
Judy Cameron, a retired Boeing 777 Captain at Air Canada (retired), and director of the Northern Lights Aero Foundation, said that each recipient has shown "great determination in their training, and the willingness to encourage and inspire others in their aviation journey."
"As the scholarship goes into its fourth year, it is wonderful to hear the success stories of former recipients. Two women are flying as First Officers, another is a fire patrol pilot, and two more are flight instructors. Thank you to Air Canada and CAE for helping to make their dreams a reality," said Cameron.
Air Canada winners of the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship are:
Amanda Tosto, Surrey, British Columbia
Hélène Trudeau, Beausejour, Manitoba
Charlotte Thorley, Grimsby, Ontario
Chanelle Wilson, Coldstream, British Columbia
CAE Women in Flight ambassadors:
Meera Bissonauth, Mississauga, Ontario
Mia Cochran, North Bay, Ontario
Jaime Hanson, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
Kyra Jarvis, Kingston, Nova Scotia
For more info, watch this video.