On a mission to encourage women pursue their dreams

Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British teenager landed in Coimbatore on Thursday as part of her journey, flying solo, across 52 countries to motivate and encourage women to pursue their dreams in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

She will clock 51,000 km in a Shark ultra-light plane and left Belgium on August 18. Ms. Rutherford hopes her journey, which will conclude in the mid of January next year, will help highlight the gender gap in aviation and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related careers, said a press release. Coimbatore-based Elgi Equipments is one of the sponsors of Ms. Rutherford’s record-breaking attempt.

Over the course of her 51,000-km route, Ms. Rutherford is meeting with local youth to bring more visibility to aviation and STEM, specifically for young girls. She is also investing her own funds on tree-planting projects to offset her carbon footprint, the press release added.

Jairam Varadaraj, Managing Director, Elgi Equipments, said, “We are excited to be a part of her (Zara Rutherford) journey. Women are largely under-represented in the manufacturing industry, and at Elgi, we firmly believe that diversity adds new perspectives, stimulates innovation, raises overall standards of work, and improves results.”

Mr. Rutherford will fly to Mumbai on Friday.

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