Women in Aerospace Europe (WIA-E)

Among the participants at SpaceUp Paris is Fiorella Coliolo, whom you may have already met at ESA events.

Fiorella is an astrophysicist by training, with a strong experience in communication and public relations working with ESA, National Space Agencies, industries, European scientific institutions and museums.

Like so many of us, Firorella believes that communication is essential to educate different target audiences about space exploration and to inspire young generation with creativity and innovation.

Fiorella, can you explain to us what Women in Aerospace-Europe (WIA-E) is?

Women in Aerospace-Europe, WIA-E, was founded in June 2009 by Simonetta di Pippo, Head, European Space Policy Observatory, Italian Space Agency and President of WIA-E, and Claudia Kesler, CEO of HE Space and Chair of the WIA-E Board.

WIA-E is an international association dedicated to expanding leadership opportunities, increasing the visibility of women in the aerospace sector and to engage young girl in science and technology.

We are now close to 250 members, 10 corporate members, with three strategic agreements signed with strategic partners (COSPAR, ISU and SGAC, Space Generation Advisory Council) plus a collaboration agreement with WIA in US.

But what is the vision behind WIA-Europe?

Our Vision : A European aerospace sector with a balanced representation of women on all levels.

After WIA Europe, WIA Africa and WIA Canada have been created, and we are following with interest the on going activities for the creation of WIA Asia and WIA Latin America, with the final goal to create a global network.

Why create WIA-Paris?

We consider the development of local groups as a very important step in the growing process of our association. WIA-E local groups already exist in Leiden, Bremen , Munich, Bruxelles, Paris and very soon in Rome.

The local groups are not independent organizations, and the strategy is decided at central level. We really believe on the creation of a network in Europe with strong groups in the various regions and main towns. This will allow a stronger presence of WIA Europe in the various countries and the reinforcement of the association as a whole.

Is the WIA-E membership reserved to women?

It is open to both women and men, in Europe and across the globe, who share an interest in a broad spectrum of aerospace activities including: human space flight and exploration, aviation, remote sensing, satellite communications, robotic missions, commercial space, space tourism, education and related policy challenges.

And why are you involved in WIA-E?

I am based in Paris and I joined WIA-E last January. I am so glad to be the coordinator of WIA-E Paris local group. It is a new exciting challenge for me and it allow me to put together my professional experience, my passion and my transversal personality.
Taking advantage of my large network of contacts in the space sector, I want to give my contribution to improve the communication with the different target audiences of WIA Europe regarding to expanding women’s opportunities for leadership and increasing their visibility in the aerospace community.

Could you give us a preview of the upcoming events?

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