Friday, October 16, 2020

Elsie fact #15: The Hawker Hurricanes I

My book is entitled Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill. Elsie received the title "Queen of the Hurricanes from an American comic book who featured her within its pages as the Canadian Car and Foundry's Chief Aeronautical Engineer. The title stuck. Why was that?

During the Second World War women played prominent roles when there were not enough men to continue what would be considered non-traditional work for women (for example in factories). The vast majority of these roles were no where near the echelons of leadership - but Elsie's was. 

Elsie did not let this get to her head - she was focused on the work to retool the plant to mass produce airplanes and she considered her role as an engineer as more important than her sex - as noted in the recent Canadian Heritage Minute.

Elsie worked hard with her team and kept her focus on the ultimate goal: peace. She was all too well aware that ironically engineers needed to construct war machines to achieve this goal, but it remained her focus. 

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