Southwest Airlines partnered with GenHERation, a network where young women and companies connect, for Discovery Days 2017. A group of 50 young women from GenHERation, ages 14-22, visited Southwest headquarters in Dallas for an immersive Discovery Days event to learn about Southwest and hear career advice from Southwest Leaders.
In addition to the young women from GenHERation who participated in Discovery Days, we had another very special guest: Lilly Santiago. Earlier this year, Southwest shared Lilly’s story. You may recall that Lilly’s father, Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Will Santiago, reached out to his Cohearts on Facebook with a request to show Lilly that there are women working on the ramp at Southwest. Will’s post received an overwhelming response with dozens of Southwest women responding to Lilly’s question and encouraging her to follow her dreams. Shortly after, Lilly spent a day in the field at our Baltimore station to see and experience all the jobs women accomplish in our operation.
We invited Lilly to join in on the Discovery Days fun to show her even more of the work women are doing at Southwest Airlines. Lilly joined the girls from GenHERation for a scavenger hunt to learn about Southwest history and meet our Campus Reach Internship team. The group also heard career advice and lessons learned from Elizabeth Bryant, Vice President Southwest Airlines University; Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller; Linda Rutherford, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; and Ellen Torbert, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion. Lilly joined a team of GenHERation girls to design a marketing campaign to encourage students to fly with Southwest.
The morning with GenHERation was packed full of fun events, but the day didn’t end there. Lilly and her family continued to meet incredible women at Southwest by visiting the Network Operations Center and meeting Dispatch Trainer Carla Caisee. With Carla’s help, Lilly was even able to help send Pilots messages during their flights. To show Lilly what it was like to work in Technical Operations, Katelyn Dittman, Technical Operations Staff Engineer, walked Lilly around the Dallas Hangar. Lilly also spent some time learning all about how Southwest Airlines Employees are trained to do their jobs.
At the end of her fun-filled day, Lilly shared that “women can do all the jobs and nothing can stop them." Lilly, we couldn’t agree more!