Less than 3 percent of certified drone pilots in the world are women, which is a sad statistic that highlights the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries. While the number of women who fly drones recreationally is likely to be higher, being certified can open up a lot of new career opportunities to enter the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAE) field.
To close the gender gap, Elena Buenrostro started Women Who Drone, an online community where female professional drone pilots, filmmakers and photographers can come together, share resources and support each other.
Buenrostro comes from a videographer background and was inspired to get into flying drones after a trip to the Great Wall of China. When other women started reaching out to her for advice, she started Women Who Drone. Since the creation of the community, Instagram’s #womenwhodrone hashtag has grown from 0 to 26,000 in the last year.
Women Who Drone is now one of the largest online female drone pilot communities. Members share travel tips, talk local drone regulations and areas where it's safe to fly drones, as well as host workshops and teach online. The site features photography from over 400 of its members, and just recently partnered with Getty Images to license the Women Who Drone collection, which features hundreds of drone videos and photos taken by its creators.
Rusta – one of the UK's bigger drone pilot training companies – has reported a "sharp rise" in the number of women enrolling in its course. Since 2017, the science and tech industries more broadly saw progress, with an addition of 61,430 more women working in the areas than before.
Carys Kaiser, founder of TheDroneLass, got excited by the possibilities of drones as a filmmaker. “I often wonder why there aren’t more women around. Men had remote-control cars and played video games growing up – girls weren’t offered the same opportunities,” she says. Kaiser created Facebook groups and a blog with the aim of creating a community to encourage other women to get involved in drones.
Kim and Makayla Wheeler, otherwise known as the 2Drone_Gals on Instagram, are a mother/daughter drone team based in Florida. The two operate a professional photography and cinematography team building an incredible portfolio of stunning aerial work. The two now have a fleet of drones and a growing Instagram following.
Mother/daughter drone duo @2drone_gals
The skies the limit...