ATTAGIRLS Film, Book & Pilot Scholarship Encourages Young Women to Consider an Aviation Career

ATTAGIRLS Film, Book & Pilot Scholarship Encourages Young Women to Consider an Aviation Career

A multi-faceted initiative is moving forward to encourage young women to consider a career in aviation and particularly as a pilot. Attagirls includes a published novel, a feature film and the Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship, all of which were inspired by Molly Rose (neé Marshall), the heroine aviatrix of the Air Transport Auxiliary (‘ATA’) during World War II. Attagirls was created by film producer Paul Olavesen-Stabb who wrote the novel and is now looking for production partners for the feature film.

Applications for the fully funded Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship will open on 1st June 2023 and will, for the second time, award full Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) training to an individual who has demonstrated an interest in flying as a career. The successful recipient will obtain her flying training with the Marshall of Cambridge owned Cambridge Aero Club, which was founded as the Marshall Flying School in 1929 by Molly Rose’s father David Marshall. The 2021 scholarship was awarded to 17-year-old Air Cadet Georgia Pescod from Cambridge. After achieving her Private Pilot’s Licence last summer, Georgia will start training for her commercial licence in November.

According to The International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISWAP) published in 2020, only around 5-6% of pilots in the industry (globally) are female. The British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA) have confirmed that around 6% of pilots in the UK are female.

Paul Olavesen-Stabb of Aetheris Films commented: “The Attagirls feature film, book and scholarship will hopefully encourage young women everywhere to consider a career in aviation. The scholarship is synonymous with Molly’s story as she was not afraid to embrace opportunities that during her time were exclusive to men. Molly was an apprentice engineer at her father’s company Marshall of Cambridge and thereafter a pilot, and at a time when it was extremely rare for women to take on such roles. The mantra of Attagirls is one of ‘courage under pressure’ - a message for young women to have the courage to embrace an opportunity despite its challenges - the challenges in aviation being an arena which is predominantly male oriented.

Paul added: "We are extremely grateful to our sponsors: Marshall of Cambridge, Cambridge Aero Club, Molly’s three sons Graham, Gregory and Nigel, together with the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA) together with a personal donation from Philip Meeson, the Executive Chairman of Jet2. We are also grateful to The RAF Club in London for their help throughout the project”.

Kathy Jenkins, Marshall CEO comments “Naturally Molly Rose holds a very special place in the Marshall family and company history, and we are delighted to able to support the scholarship for a second consecutive year. When you consider just how relatively few women find a pathway into aviation, and particularly as pilots, it is clear that initiatives such as the Molly Rose Scholarship have an important role to play in helping attract more young, female talent into our industry.”

Group Captain Terry Holloway, Managing Director of the Cambridge Aero Club said: As well as teaching Molly Rose fly in the 1930s, the Cambridge Aero Club also taught a local Cambridge woman, Richarda ‘Dikki” Morrow-Tait to fly in 1946, and she went on, in 1948, to be the first woman to fly around the world, starting and ending her journey at Cambridge Airport. The Cambridge Aero Club is both proud and delighted to be associated with the Molly Rose flying scholarship once again, and we look forward to providing flying training to the successful winner of the scholarship.

Sharon Nicholson FRAeS, BWPA Chairwoman commented: "It has been a pleasure working with Paul and the team at Aetheris, to represent the British Women Pilots' Association as sponsors of the Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship and as part of the selection panel. Every so often someone special deserves a helping hand towards a potentially life-changing experience while enjoying the support of the BWPA membership. The first AMRPS winner successfully completed her PPL last year and we look forward to seeing this happen again. As an Association now in our 68th year our aim is to continue inspiring and supporting women in all areas of aviation."

Graham Rose, the eldest son of Molly Rose commented: “My late mother would be smiling down and thrilled with the setting up of the Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship. She had always hoped that more women would be in the air – both in the military and commercial airlines. My brothers and I remember the photograph of her in Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) uniform sitting proudly and prominently in our father’s dressing room. She would not often talk of her time in ATA delivering planes from factories to the RAF during WW2. It was only in later life she would tell the tales and did so very modestly in common with her female ATA colleagues”.

Molly Rose’s three sons (left to right), Nigel, Graham and Gregory Rose stood with Spitfire

Molly Rose’s three sons (left to right), Nigel, Graham and Gregory Rose

Graham added: “We are thrilled with the prospect of a film based on our mother’s life in ATA and delighted that Paul Fowler and his team at Enstone named one of their Spitfires after her. We are pleased to support Paul Olavesen-Stabb’s initiative of The Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship. Last year’s successful candidate, Georgia Pescod, excelled and we look forward to many applicants for the 2023/4 initiative.”