This marks the first edition of our quarterly newsletter. Besides providing an overview of the organization, these publications will highlight recent events, other newsworthy items, and give a look ahead at much-anticipated upcoming events. In our first year in the Maritimes, I am overwhelmed with inspiration and the number of women currently working in what is a rather large aerospace and defence footprint in the region. WIA-Canada is a fantastic organization, full of people who strive continuously to achieve the goal of more opportunities for women in an industry that we love. Consistent with our National Board of Directors, we will move with strategic guidance to keep our organization aligned with our mission as well as setting the foundation blocks for continual growth. 2017 is shaping up to be a very exciting year as we continue to generate interest in the organization. Please be sure to share with others you know in the industry and with young women considering careers in the aerospace sector. I look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming events.

Eva Martinez, Vice-President WIA-Canada

Objectives of WIA-Canada

Women in Aerospace Canada (WIA-Canada) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and professional development as well as increasing their visibility in the aerospace community by creating a professional network in Canada and across the globe. The objectives of WIA-Canada are to: Identify, foster and promote the interests and professional development of women working in the aerospace industry and other related sectors. To be a networking platform for women and men in the aerospace industry and other sector areas related to aerospace. Advance aerospace education for women in schools, colleges, and universities. Develop alliances with aerospace associations (provincially, federally and internationally) and other relevant associations across Canada and globally. Is WIA-Canada for you? Members of WIA-Canada represent all levels of employment in aerospace – from entry level to senior executives, from administrative to technical to engineering roles and everything in between. If you’re a woman working in the aerospace industry, WIA-Canada is for you!


Congratulations to Bluedrop Training & Simulation (BTSI) for winning the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year award. BTSI designs, develops, and integrates advanced training solutions including state-of-the-art training and simulation products and highly interactive courseware to meet the demands of today’s modern armed forces. They provide blended training solutions aimed at improving safety, productivity, and efficiency to ensure the highest levels of operational mission readiness.

ACADA – Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association – is the new pan-Atlantic organization replacing the provincial organizations previously known as NBADA, ADIANL, ADIANS, and ADPEI. This new model of sector co-operation will facilitate strategic industry development and heighten the Atlantic Canadian brand and capabilities locally, domestically and internationally.

Recent Events

Movie Night: Hidden Figures On January 23, a group gathered at Scotiabank Theatre for an almost soldout screening of Hidden Figures – the story of three female African American mathematicians at NASA who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. What an amazing and inspiring story of how these three women crossed all gender, race, and professional lines with grace and dogged determination while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in the history of mankind as heroes.

International Women’s Day (IWD) On March 6, we celebrated International Women’s Day with the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Defence Women’s Advisory Organization. The originally advertised keynote speaker – Ms Jody Thomas, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner – was unable to attend, resulting in a last-minute change. Sandra MacLennan, President of the Local Council of Women, gave an inspirational presentation on the progress that has been made within the women's movement, within the workforce and within Nova Scotia itself. Her discussion of the work being done in Halifax gave some insight into the wonderful work that is being done and what still needs doing, encouraging each to 'stand and be counted' for issues that matter the most to each of us. International Women’s Day events help highlight the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. For 2018, Women in Aerospace Canada Maritimes hopes to host its own event, specific to our industry and our members.

Upcoming Events

NSCC Aviation Institute Tour Join us on Tuesday April 25 from 10am-12pm at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Aviation Institute in Dartmouth. This modern training facility allows students to build aviation skills using the latest technologies. Tour size is limited to 40 so register early at NSCC Aviation Institute 375 Pleasant Street, Unit 100 Dartmouth, NS

Falck Safety Services Tour Save the Date! Join us Wednesday May 17 for a tour at Falck Safety Services in Dartmouth. Falck provides Helicopter Underwater Egress Training for DND as well as fixed wing ditching for Transport Canada. This event will be a great opportunity to view their state-of-the-art simulation theatre complete with wave pool, wind fans, sound effects, and more. Falck Safety Services 20 Orion Court Dartmouth,NS.

2017 Atlantic ConnecTions Conference (ACT) 2017 The Atlantic ConnecTions Conference will take place May 3-4 in Halifax, NS. With a theme of “Supporting the Career Progression and Retention of Women in SETT”, the conference provides an opportunity for women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (SETT) from Atlantic Canada to share their experiences of studying and working in male-dominated fields, to network with others, and to develop action items with the goal of advancing women in SETT. The conference will take place at Mount Saint Vincent University and women and their male colleagues from a cross-section of industries, education, government, and not-for-profit organizations are invited to participate in the conference. Registration is now open to the public! Go to for more details.

Book Club Would you be interested in participating in a book club? Take a minute to weigh in on an online survey before April 30, 2017:

Other Items

Welcoming Men Given the demographics in the aerospace field, WIA-Canada’s doors are open to men as well as women. Since women do not exclusively network amongst themselves and many of us have benefited from male mentors or advocates who have assisted our career development, WIA-Canada recognizes the importance of including these allies in furthering the goals of our organization. Men can be equally devoted to the advancement of women in aerospace so it is important that the organization welcome both genders in support of the cause.

AFRED – An R&D Toolbank A powerful new means of advancing research and development in Atlantic Canada made its debut in Halifax, NS on March 8. AFRED, the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database, is an online tool connecting researchers to the equipment and facilities they need to answer their foremost questions — whether they’re trying to understand the brain, explore space, or develop the perfect cupcake for market. Launched by Science Atlantic, a non-profit association of 16 post-secondary and research institutes in Atlantic Canada, AFRED currently includes over 400 pieces of equipment from more than 80 facilities at 19 institutions in the region. AFRED will build R&D capacity in Atlantic Canada in sectors ranging from aerospace to fishing and forestry, from biotech to foods and nutraceuticals, and from IT to renewable energy technologies. “AFRED will enable researchers in Atlantic Canada to make use of specialized equipment they might otherwise not know even exists,” says Dr. David McCorquodale, Science Atlantic’s chair and Dean of Science & Technology at Cape Breton University. “We see AFRED as a powerful tool for building cross-sector partnerships and opening the door to new possibilities for innovation, business development and wealth creation in the region.” Patty King, AFRED Program Manager at AFRED Launch Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry Core Facility (PCF), Faculty of Medicine, Dal

Techsploration Changing Course: Becoming an Aircraft Structures Technician While working as the Communications Coordinator at Techsploration, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing the number of women working in science, trades, and technology, Teri Brown had the unique opportunity to meet a number of women working in a variety of careers she hadn’t previously considered. As she worked with those women to promote learning opportunities with the young women (in grades 9-12) participating in Techsploration, Teri developed an interest in more hands-on careers, like welding, painting, and machining. When Teri learned that the military offered training for a career as an aircraft structures technician (ACS), which combined all the trades she found of interest, Teri decided to 'make the leap' and try out a career that suited her newfound interests. “It was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I've never been happier,” exclaims Teri. Teri also credits her exceptional training at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE) for helping develop her confidence to succeed in a course she wasn't sure she belonged in at first. “It’s a career that offers significant security, with excellent pay and benefits, and valuable skills that can be applied outside of work as well. It’s a career more women should consider,” says Teri. Teri’s drive to change the course of her career from communications to the Canadian Forces is a testament to the importance of career exploration for women in science, trades, and technology, and the importance of Techsploration!

#CanWomenSTEM150 As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, the #CanWomenSTEM150 initiative is an opportunity to celebrate 150 days of Canadian women in STEM. Many women have paved the way to innovation, playing a key part in inspiring future generations of young women considering careers in STEM fields. If you know of or are a Canadian woman in STEM, please fill out a nomination form. For more information, go to

Justifying Your Participation (with the Boss) Do you find it difficult to get your manager’s approval to attend a Women in Aerospace Canada event? Does the idea of even asking seem daunting? Ever-tightening budgets, requesting time off during business hours, even the optics that our events are just social gatherings and not intended for professional development – just some of the reasons you’re concerned about? One of the best ways to get approval to attend an event is to link your organization’s goals with the experience that the event will provide. If you need help soliciting your boss’ authorization and/or financial support to attend – either by email or the next time you’re chatting with your manager at the water cooler – contact Eva at for help. Perhaps you can even consider inviting them along so they can gain a better understanding of our organization, mission, and objectives. We don’t want anyone missing out!

Sponsorship and Support The success of our organization and the quality of the events and programs offered are hugely dependent upon sponsorship from industry, consultants and individuals. Lending your name and financial support to an event will provide exposure to your business. Help sponsor an event or volunteer your facility for a tour. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your business, demonstrate your commitment to diversity initiatives, and support the aerospace and defense community in the region. Please contact Eva Martinez at / 902-233-0298

Check out our Website – For more information about Women in Aerospace Canada in the Maritimes, please contact Eva Martinez at 902-233-0298 /

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