The skies just got a little friendlier with these two history-making pilots.

This month, the friendly skies became even friendlier when Alaska Airlines made pretty awesome history.  

After American Airlines Captain Tara Dillon-Wright joked with passengers about Mother's Day and other fun tidbits, she introduced her teammate, 1st Officer Mallory Cave, along with the amazing news.


Making Alaska Airlines history this morning! First Officer Mallory Cave and I serve as the very first all African-American female crew on Alaska Flt #361, San Francisco to Portland, OR. 👩🏽‍✈️👩🏽‍✈️

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Tara Dillon Wright on Sunday, May 13, 2018

For the first time in the airline's history, the plane would be piloted by two black female pilots.

"Finally, you're sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning," she told passengers in the video. "You'll be piloted by two female African-American pilots for the first time in the airline's history."

The passengers of the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Flight #361, flying from San Francisco to Portland, burst into applause. Because really, who doesn't want to enjoy beautiful skies while being flown by awesome, history-making women?  

The flight marks a much-needed change in the airline industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 72% of air transportation employees are white and 60% are male.  

Overall, a whopping 97%% of aircraft pilots are white, with female pilots making up a mere 5%. One study found that found that desegregation in airline flight decks hasn't progressed since 1980. Black pilots at a number of airlines have talked about the discrimination they've experienced, and women have also faced discrimination and harassment in the industry.

The disparity is frustrating, but Dillion-Wright and Cave's accomplishment shows that change is coming.  

In spite of what the numbers say, women continue to make it clear that male-dominated industries are no longer "boys clubs."

In the 1920s, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to hold a pilot's license. Her progress was inspiration for women around the world who wanted to work in male-dominated industries. Take, for instance, former Navy fighter pilot Tammie Jo Shults, who made an incredible life-saving emergency landing after debris from an engine failure broke open a plane window. Or Clara Lyde, Lauren Plagainos, and Wendy Tapia, all three of whom joined the Fire Department of New York, one of the most notoriously competitive fire departments in the country.    

These women and countless others are showing us that they are not only good enough to be in these industries, they belong there.

Though we're far from equal racial and gender breakdowns in numerous career fields, many women are doing the work to get us there.  

With leaders like Dillon-Wright and Cave, it's clear that we're getting even closer.  

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.