Nominations are now open for the 2021 Women to Watch (WTW) in UAS Global Awards, which aims to recognise those making significant contributions in the unmanned aircraft systems market.

Created by Women and Drones, the awards are now in their fifth year and have been designed to acknowledge and motivate women who are driving change and leading the drone industry closer to gender parity. In creating this list, it says it aims to raise the profile of women doing great work and encourage more women to embrace UAS technology.

There are individual awards for leadership, entrepreneurship, safety/service and education, while the team awards acknowledge organisations in their pursuit of excellence, embracing diversity and which have a culture of inclusiveness where women are engaged in key or leadership roles.

In creating this recognition, the awards also aim to raise the profile of women in both the urban air mobility and advanced air mobility markets.

Nominations must be submitted online by 11.59pm CST on Friday, May 14th. The winners will be invited to collect their award during the InterDrone Conference, which takes place in Dallas, Texas, from August 10th to 12th. And for the first time, each winner will receive a $500 micro grant.

Dawn Zoldi, CEO and Founder of P3 Tech Consulting, who is also the ambassador for this year’s programme, said: “These awards are life-changing; I’m living proof. My receipt of the Leadership Award in 2019, and meeting Sharon Rossmark and the other amazing women in the drone industry at InterDrone that year, inspired me to create my company.

“In a little over a year, I’m in it full time, connecting people with a passion for advanced tech platforms with the plans, programs, policies and information they need to succeed. This award challenged me to live out my passion, which I’m now doing. This is why I raised my hand to be the Ambassador for the 2021 program, helping Sharon take it to new heights by giving out micro grants to individual winners through the WTW Global Fund. I wanted to pay it forward.”

The award criteria is as follows:

The Leadership Award, which is sponsored by Sabrewing Aircraft, will recognise an individual with an exceptional ability to motivate people or groups to achieve a common goal, including but not limited to: education, policy, research & development, innovation, business and humanitarian efforts.

The Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by Iris Automation, wil recognise an individual innovator who has significantly impacted the UAS industry and possesses ‘outstanding business acumen and innovative practices that led to the success of her company, projects or the efforts of others.

The Public Safety/Service Award, sponsored by Skydio, will recognise an individual who serves the public in any capacity and epitomises community involvement or betterment service-orientated activities, including humanitarian efforts, public policy, military/federal or law enforcement etc.

The Education Award, which is sponsored by the Unmanned Safety Institute, recognizes a teacher or instructor who actively engages students with drones, shares the value of drones within curriculum and develops drone programs opportunities and programs and provides professional development to others as an ambassador for drone and STEM education.

The Innovation Team Award, sponsored by Volatus Aerospace, will recognise a team, group, company, agency or organisation in the drone ecosystem which actively encourages and inspires women to disrupt and innovate within the UAS industry.

And the Team Spotlight Award, sponsored by FoxFury, recognises a global co-ed team, group, company, agency or organisation in the drone ecosystem whose overall work contributes to the positive perception of drones, while fostering a culture of female empowerment and inclusiveness where women are engaged in key roles on the team and/or in leadership positions.

In addition to these sponsors, other companies which have donated to the Woman to Watch Global Fund include Blackswift Technologies, Transcend Air, Drone Industry Systems and Zing Drones. Any company wanting to donate to this year’s awards can visit: https://fundly.com/women-to-watch-global-awards-2021-fund

For more information about the awards and eligibility criteria, visit https://womenanddrones.com/wtw-2021/