Young women hear of how to fly high in RAF

AVM Sue Gray speaks to the gathered audience. EMN-141222-170532001
AVM Sue Gray speaks to the gathered audience. EMN-141222-170532001

More than 50 young females attended RAF College Cranwell before Christmas to learn more about the role of women in the Royal Air Force.

The event saw the joint highest ranked female officer in the RAF, Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray, give a talk to female pupils and students from local schools and colleges, as well as girls from Sleaford Air Cadets and other units.

Air Vice-Marshal Gray is the director of combat air and the second woman in the RAF to reach the two-star rank of Air Vice-Marshal.

The event took place in the Rotunda of the prestigious College Hall.

Air Vice-Marshal Gray spoke about how her career developed after joining the engineering branch of the RAF in 1985 and then took questions from the audience.

Also present were Air Commodore Christina Elliot (director of ground training and gender advocate for the RAF), Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty (Commandant Air Cadets), Group Captain Catherine Coton (head of recruiting and selection), and Warrant Officer Shoba Earl (the Command Warrant Officer Reserves).

Air Vice-Marshal Gray said: “This event was a very effective demonstration of the important role played by women in today’s RAF. Whilst I was delighted to speak to the young women who attended today, it was notable that they could also meet other senior women officers. In addition the presence of WO Earl as the senior non-commissioned individual in the RAF Reserves shows that the RAF is open to bright and effective women of all backgrounds and in a wide variety of roles.”

Commandant of the College, Air Commodore Chris Luck said: “I hope that many of the young women who attended will be inspired to join the RAF and perhaps one of them will one day rise to become the Chief of the Air Staff.”

Earlier this month, Air Vice-Marshal Gray was also the first-ever serving female reviewing officer at a graduation at the RAF College.