Founded in 1925, Delta is one of America’s most commonly used airlines, although there has been much controversy within the company. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that Delta hired their first African American female pilot. After flying for Northwest Airlines since 1997, Stephanie Johnson became the first African American woman to achieve the rank of captain.
When asked in an interview with The New York Times, Capt. Johnson stated: “Eventually I hope that seeing an African-American woman pilot is as normal as seeing people of all genders and ethnic backgrounds as passengers on a plane.” She has flown for over two decades, paving the way for other potential pilots to join the ranks as airmen.
Capt. Johnson has lamented on enjoying the pleasure of “encouraging young people to pursue their dream of flying” as the director of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals’ Aviation Career Education Academy in Cleveland. She recognizes the example she sets for other young aviators.
In an article on the Delta News Hub, Capt. Johnson shares, “When I was hired by Northwest Airlines, there were 12 African-American women airline pilots in the country at the major airlines, and I knew all of their names… I feel a great sense of responsibility to be a positive role model.”