Zara Rutherford Chasing Her Dreams

Updated: Jan 18

✦ The World is at Zara Rutherford's Feet

Move over Phileas Fogg.

Zara Rutherford is the one in the cockpit now. She's on a real life around-the-world journey, and this is one exciting ride we do not want to miss.

This extraordinary young woman is at this very moment, as you are reading this, high up in the skies in a small airplane. Flying solo. Around the world.

She is 19 years old and knows exactly what she wants. And she's clearly out to get it.

Rewriting a New Reality for Women

Zara Rutherford, FlyZolo, Youngest Woman Solo, featured on Brilliant-Online
Zara Rutherford | Photo Credit: Fly Zolo

She wants to use her mission to encourage girls and young women to dare to dream and to go for it.

There are two things that fuel Zara's passion - aviation and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). By making this solo journey around the world, Zara hopes to encourage other girls and young women to chase their dreams, whether it is to start flying, enter STEM-related careers or anything that they are capable of imagining.

We may be in the 21st century, but there is still a gender gap in industries such as aviation or in STEM. Many may not be aware of this, and the answers to a few simple questions leave us stumped.

Do you know how many commercial pilots are women? Only 5%. And what about computer scientists? How many are women? Just 15%.

We can ask why in sectors with amazing careers and opportunities, there are so few women. The statistics do not make much sense. In the STEM industry, the gender inequality was recently highlighted in a documentary in 2020. MIT's professor of biology Nancy Hopkins amongst other women scientists spoke up and brought to light the gender inequality in their sector.

Zara is the new generation of young women who are not afraid of stepping up and giving themselves the opportunities they deserve. Zara's role models are Lillian Bland, Bessie Coleman, Valentina Tereshkova and Amelia Earhart.

And one day, other young girls will be citing Zara Rutherford as their role model.

As Natural as Flying

Rather than say Zara is flying out of her comfort zone to accomplish her mission, it is in taking to the skies that Zara is truly in her comfort zone. In fact, Zara has been flying for as long as she could remember. Her parents are experienced pilots so flying is very much in her DNA. It was only natural that she started on her flight training as soon as she was of age. She qualified as a pilot last year.

And Zara's certainly not sitting around with the qualification gathering dust somewhere!

Zara Rutherford, FlyZolo, Youngest Woman Solo, featured on Brilliant-Online
Baby Pilot Zara in 2004! | Photo Credit: Fly Zolo