Women’s History Month highlights the contributions to society’s advancements in all fields. As women, it is an uphill battle to overcome adversity in male-dominated careers. This is often enough to make us give up and turn around, but for Captain Stephanie Johnson and Captain Arcie Quintana this was the motivation they needed. Delta’s Firsts, a Women’s History Month celebration, was an inspiring and motivational event for everyone to listen, learn and connect about the adversity female pilots endure.
Captain Stephanie Johnson, currently piloting an Airbus A320, is the first female African-American captain at Delta Airlines. Among many other things, such as being a wife and a mother, Captain Johnson is the Director of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Cleveland Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy.
Captain Isaura Arcie Quintana, currently piloting the Boeing 757 and 767, is the first female Latina Captain at Delta Airlines. Captain Quintana endured many hurdles while pursuing her career as a single mother, including financial instability. Despite these challenges, she was the first and only female pilot at JetWest Aviation. The Captain was also the first female pilot to fly MD-90s for Great American Airways and Sunjet Aviation prior to beginning her career at Northwest Airlines. Her success defines the possibilities we can all achieve if we persevere.
Both captains shared with the audience their backgrounds, their history, and the numerous challenges they continue to face as women in aviation. Despite this, they shared their confidence in Delta Airlines and other airlines as they continue to learn new ways to empower and encourage women. Captain Johnson explained that Delta’s Women’s Employee Network encourages female employees to empower one another. It includes pilots and corporate employees alike.
Below are some things they would like women to keep in mind not only this month, but as we continue to pursue our careers:
- “Don’t Guess!” – Captain Quintana
Someone else has gone through the hiring process. Connect with them and learn from their experience.
- “You’re teaching your children what it means to be a strong woman.” – Captain Johnson
For those that wish to have children and pursue a career – It’s more than possible.
- “In flying, half the battle is the confidence you have in yourself.” – Captain Johnson
Your purpose is to make yourself proud. Every time you take off and every time you land is a reflection of dedication and devotion. It’s what really matters.
- “You can make it happen no matter what. You have money. You don’t have money. Make it happen.” – Captain Quintana
No excuses. Captain Quintana educated herself thanks to grants and scholarships. Utilize your resources! There’s always a way.