Is WGUK for me?

At the BGA conference last Saturday someone told me that she had never paid much attention to WGUK because she thought it’s all just about competitions and she’s not interested in that. There are other things she would like WGUK to do to attract and keep more women pilots.

That got me thinking. Yes, WGUK started as the women development initiative run by Liz and the rest of the British Women’s Team, aimed at getting more women to fly competitions and eventually steal their places in the team.

And that’s currently still one of the core objectives, along with building a community of and for gliding women. (See our manifesto for more detail:

But if there are women out there who would like to get involved and add other aspects to WGUK, then please do.

One of the main reasons why WGUK hasn’t expanded the core objectives just yet is that we are a small group of volunteers and can’t spread ourselves too thinly. We discussed expanding what WGUK does, but with the current resources we decided that we’d rather concentrate on a limited number of things and do those well than try to cover everything, but badly.

We’re volunteers, and we’d love to have more volunteers on board. So if any of you out there has ideas (e.g. regarding instructing, aerobatics, etc.) and wants to get involved, please do.

Kay and Michelle for instance have taken on the National Women Go Gliding Day, which is aimed at the initial recruitment of female club members, and they are currently putting together some info and guidance to help clubs organise their own NWGGD.

Basically, if there’s any aspect where you think “I wish they covered that”, then there’s nothing to stop you from joining the rest of us and covering what you think needs covering.

Ideally we don’t want to be “they” but “we” and that includes you. And me. And us. Oh, and them.

1 Comment on “Is WGUK for me?

  1. I appreciate that WGUK is run by volunteers, but then we’re all volunteers trying to make our clubs better. However, I do think that the key issue is recruiting women in the first place, partly because it would be good to have more women flying but primarily to increase the number of glider pilots overall. We all know that gliding is a shrinking sport, we therefore need to address ourselves to the half of the population who think that ‘women don’t do that’ (quote from woman accompanying male trial lesson customer).
    One reason why there are so few women is…..that there aren’t enough women, so the image is of old white men doing something incomprehensible. We need to start chipping away at that image to make it more comfortable for women to join. Learning to glide is quite scary, and your friends think you’re weird, if you add in having to deal with club members who aren’t like you then you have to be quite determined to carry on. (This comment would also apply to other groups eg young people, ethnic minorities.)

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