New ‘Women of Commercial Drones’ Organization Launches


Women of Commercial Drones has commenced operations as an initiative to advance female participation in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.

The group was founded by Gretchen West, senior advisor at law firm Hogan Lovells; Lisa Ellman, partner at Hogan Lovells; and Dyan Gibbens, CEO and founder of Trumbull Unmanned.

West and Ellman are also co-founders of the recently established Commercial Drone Alliance, which, together with Women of Commercial Drones, will kick off a mentorship program to support women’s career development in the UAS industry and success in leadership roles.

The groups believe these efforts will tackle the broader issue of the lack of women in leadership in technology.

“Commercial drone development and sales are on the rise, but the number of women in leadership positions, whether in the drone industry or more generally in technology, is not,” the Women of Commercial Drones says on its site. “With a specific focus on women interested in commercial enterprise/business with drones, we want to encourage women to be bold in pursuit of their careers in this market. The commercial drone industry will benefit as a result of increased gender diversity.”

The Commercial Drone Alliance announced the collaboration today at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s “Workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation,” where the alliance also announced a broad educational effort with several other industry stakeholders, as well as plans to work with the end-user community and UAS traffic management collaborators to further enable the acceptance of autonomy and UAS technology. More on today’s workshop can be found here.

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