Pioneer Hall of Fame Nomination Process

2023 Nominations due by August 15, 2022

The WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for other women. WAI solicits nominations from members of women throughout the aviation industry for induction to the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame.

Nominations for the 2024 Pioneer Hall of Fame will be accepted beginning spring of 2023.
Eligibility Requirements for Nominees

1. Nominees must have made outstanding contributions to one or more of the following areas:

  • Aviation Education
  • General Aviation
  • Commercial Aviation
  • Military Aviation
  • Corporate Aviation
  • Aerospace
  • Other Aviation

2. The major contribution(s) must have been significant record setting or pioneering efforts.

3. Candidates can be living or deceased.

4. All facts submitted for review must be independently verifiable.

5. A good quality, reproducible photo of nominee—a high resolution digital photo is preferred.

6. All nominations must be submitted to the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame Committee by August 15, 2022.

A judging committee will review all applications. The committee will make final selections based on how the nominee's contributions met the criteria of record setting or pioneering efforts. A maximum of five candidates will be inducted in February 2023. Announcement of inductees will be made by January 2023, and the induction ceremony will be held at the 33rd Annual International Women in Aviation Conference at in Long Beach, California during the Pioneer Hall of Fame Ceremony on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

Submission Deadline

Applications must be received by August 15.

Applications may be submitted by mail or email at:

Pioneer Hall of Fame Committee
Women in Aviation International
1864 Dayton Germantown Pike, Unit 4
Germantown, OH 45327

Email submission to Trish Steineke at tsteineke@wai.org.

Who is a Pioneer?

Sometimes it is difficult to know if your nomination justification will convince the selection committee. At the International Women in Aviation Conference in February 2007, RDML Wendi Carpenter, USNR, provided the following (paraphrased) list of Seven Key Attributes of a Pioneer that we think provides a great guide to help you determine what makes your nominee stand out. Please use the list as a guide only, with the understanding that it may not fully define all Pioneers.

  • Pioneers have faced difficult circumstances with great determination and courage. In spite of the odds, they have triumphed and made lasting contributions.
  • Pioneers always press forward into tomorrow - into the unknown. And they do it with style, class, and uncommon grace.
  • Pioneers definitely proceed with no fear, or at least it is so well hidden that no one else ever sees it.
  • Pioneers seize the opportunity and make the most of it, as it is presented and in some cases (if necessary) they make your own opportunity.
  • Pioneers are bold risk takers with great vision.
  • Pioneers never, ever take no for an answer, nor do they let someone get away with that age old excuse "because we have always done it this way."
  • Finally, Pioneers have always been willing to help others to get to the same point and to make the road easier for the next group coming after them. They are mentors and encouragers. They give back and pay forward. They are indeed the heroes we should treasure and emulate.