SheDrones: A Nonprofit for Women in the UAV Industry

Written by Betsy Lillian
on May 05, 2015 No Comments
Categories : Business Operations

A drone pilot and advocate in Louisville, Ky., is taking an initiative to involve more females in the growing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry.

Leslie Bates, a self-proclaimed ‘energy industry information manager by day, UAS operator and enthusiast by night,’ is founding a nonprofit organization called SheDrones.

‘I believe that UAVs will become ubiquitous in society,’ she tells Unmanned Aerial Online. ‘There need to be more women and young girls involved and employed in the industry as the regulatory and tech paths unfold.’

As the industry does, indeed, accelerate – there are now nearly 250 commercial exemptions issued from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as of early May – Bates wants to help provide a path forward for more women. Her website notes that SheDrones will not only build new paths but will also ‘endorse and promote current efforts by women in this industry.’

Although in the budding stages of development, the nonprofit will “support existing local/regional UAV training programs,” as well as “establish new programs where there are none in various locales,” she explains.

To do this, Bates says, she will need the assistance of those in the industry. She is currently soliciting feedback from anyone interested in being a part of her movement – particularly, drone educators and trainers across the U.S.

Bates can be reached at

More information on SheDrones can be found here.

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