By James Cole * Guest Writer
The tech industry has traditionally been a boy’s club with women being woefully underrepresented and the up-and-coming drone industry is no difference. The drone community has typically been thought to consist of purely men. However, this is no longer the case, as women have started making inroads into this usually male-dominated community. Here, we look at four women who are changing the face of the drone industry.
Sally French – Writer, Activist and Drone Enthusiast
Founder of TheDroneGirl.com and social media editor at The Wall Street Journal, Sally French is crazy about drones – from flying them, to sharing her interest with the world. Sally French is challenging mindsets, introducing new ideas and making drones much more accessible to women.
Named as one of the “4 Top Women Shaping the Drone Industry,” French has written extensively about the drone industry. In fact, she has consistently criticized drone companies for their sexist portrayals of women.
She believes that portraying women as decorative items in drone adverts would only serve to alienate female enthusiasts with an interest in piloting drones. As argued by French, drone companies should instead market drones towards a much wider audience, in order for drones to be optimized to their full potential.
French’s passion for photography first drew her into the world of drones, as she realized that drones allowed photographers to capture breathtaking aerial images that would normally be impossible.
Dyan Gibbens – Engineer, Pilot and CEO
Not only is Dyan Gibbens the founder and CEO of Trumbull Unmanned, but she is also an Air Force Veteran, pilot, engineer and visionary. Through her company Trumbull Unmanned, Gibbens is looking to leverage on drone technology to provide clients with safe and sustainable solutions for all of their business needs.
Gibbens first began her career in the United States Air Force Academy, where she earned her degree in civil engineering and joined the Air Force parachute team. With an impressive skill set that focuses on unmanned systems, engineering management and aviation logistics, her company has taken impressive strides with the implementation of drone technology.
A perfect example of this is how Trumbull Unmanned has been contracted by four of the largest oil companies in the world. They were hired to provide mapping, monitoring and inspection services for critical structure and facilities, all within a span of 18 months from inception to launch.
Furthermore, as a member of the Hispanic community and a woman, Gibbens has overcome a variety of challenges to be where she is today. In a society where minorities and women tend to be stereotyped, Dyan Gibbens’ success story as one of the most influential women in the drone industry is something that everyone should take note of.
Lisa Ellman – Law Partner at Hogan Lovells
Drone technology has evolved at a super-rapid pace these past few years. As a consequence, rules and regulations regarding the operation of drones has been struggling to keep up with the developments. From privacy concerns to issues related to the safe operation of drones and various legal matters related to this.
This is where Lisa Ellman comes into the picture. A former White House policy advisor under the Obama Administration, Ellman heads up the Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice at Hogan Lovells. Widely recognized as the “foremost authority on drones and law,” Ellman is dedicated to helping drone-based businesses take flight.
Without the dedication and support of Lisa Ellman who has consistently pushed boundaries of drone regulation, drone technology may not have taken off the way it did in the United States.
Helen Greiner – CEO and Founder of CyPhy Works
If you have used or seen a Roomba at any time in your life, you need to thank Helen Greiner. Enamored with robots and all things sci-fi ever since she fell in love with R2-D2 as a young girl watching Star Wars, Grainer has been striving to bring robot technology to the masses.
In 1990, she founded her company iRobot, which introduced the loveable Roomba to the world. Besides keeping homes nice and clean with Roomba, Grainer moved on to form CyPhy Works in 2008. Located just outside of Boston, CyPhy has managed to raise over millions of dollars in funding and is in the midst of starting up aerial projects for several Fortune 1000 companies. Notable among these is a public safety drone for Motorola Solutions.
As shown by these four awesome women, the world of drones and drone technology is not just a boy’s club. With women being as passionate as their male counterparts, the future is bright for the drone industry, as women can bring about a fresh perspective to it.
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While working in this industry, I have analyzed that women are more attentive than men in making their career in the drone industry. I strongly believe that drones are not only for men, but women and kids can also take benefits from it. Hence it is a high time for the women to achieve what they want. Even I have started the drone training classes for the drone lovers especially for the women so that they can fly in the sky without any hesitation.
This article was written and submitted by the named author and represents his independent views and opinions.