In 2019, Southwest Airlines launched a career program called Destination 225°, which provides pathways to becoming a competitively qualified candidate for future Southwest First Officer positions. On a compass rose, 225° is the southwest directional heading; therefore, Destination 225° was developed to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest. One of our pathways, the Cadet pathway, is an Ab Initio program, meaning “from the beginning.” If you don’t have previous experience as a pilot, this four- to five-year program is for you. Southwest is proud to offer the Cadet pathway in partnership with CAE, a worldwide leader in training for the civil aviation, defense and security, and healthcare markets.
CAE is committed to the advancement of women in aviation to broaden the civil aviation talent pool. Today, women make up only 5% of professional pilots worldwide. The same is true of cadets in training. Unlike many other traditionally male-dominated professions, the aviation industry is still not attracting enough women. CAE’s Women in Flight scholarship program aims to develop the industry’s future women pilot ambassadors in hopes of addressing the underrepresentation of women in this profession. As you can imagine, we are thrilled our Destination 225° Program Cadets had the opportunity to apply to be a part of Women in Flight!
We are very excited to introduce you to our winner of the CAE Women in Flight scholarship for Southwest Airlines Destination 225° Cadet Pathway: Lauren Beam. “I am gifted with the opportunity to help women achieve their piloting dreams,” says Lauren. “We are a generation of women who are intelligent and resourceful, work well with adversity, strive to reach our goals, have a strong work ethic, value respect and kindness, and understand the need for a healthy balance in life. It is my goal to encourage women such as these to realize their aspirations of becoming a pilot.”
Lauren joins the ranks of CAE’s Women in flight ambassadors who are tasked with the mission to inspire and encourage the next generation of women in aviation. Congratulations Lauren and welcome, we’re looking forward to following your journey!