What started as a relatively small way to recognition women for their contributions to the drone industry is set to land in the center of the spotlight. That’s thanks to a key partnership with arguably the biggest tech conference in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show. The Women to Watch in UAS 2021 awards will be presented live at CES 2022 in January 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The annual Women to Watch awards, hosted by online drone community Women and Drones, honors up-and-coming females in the drone industry. Nominations are made online, culminating in a big event in-person to celebrate the honorees.
The live presentation of the Women to Watch in UAS 2021 awards — which initially began accepting nominations back in March 2021 — was intended to be done at the 2021 Interdrone conference which was to be held in Dallas, Texas in mid-August 2021. But earlier this summer, Emerald Expositions, which is the team that puts on the conference, announced that it was cancelled 2021 Interdrone event. Interdrone 2020, originally set for August in Texas was also called off for obvious, COVID reasons.
Anne Nderitu of Kenya was a 2020 Humanitarian Team Award Honoree.
While the loss of the Interdrone conference was painful for many in the drone industry, it didn’t seem to mean that Women and Drones lost their stage. Instead, Women and Drones just got a bigger stage.
For now, that stage will be in the Neon Capital of the World, as — assuming the pandemic doesn’t get worse — CES is set to return to Vegas in January for CES 2022. The massive conference encompasses all things tech, ranging from drones to self-driving cars to 5G and more. It’s typically the site of big product reveals, celebrity sightings and more. Sony used CES 2021 to reveal its Sony Airpeak drone. Then-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao delivered the 2019 CES keynote, which gave added credibility to drone and other aviation contributions to technology. DJI debuted its DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone during CES 2019.
“When a door closes, a window opens,” said Sharon Rossmark, Women and Drones CEO, in a prepared statement. “We are absolutely ecstatic that CES, the world’s most influential tech event, is hosting our 5th Anniversary Women to Watch program.”
The news also aligns with a fairly significant milestone in that this is also the 5th anniversary of the Women To Watch awards. For this year’s presentation, awards will be given in the following categories (with categories both for individual women and for entire companies or organizations):
- Public Safety/Service
- Team innovation
- Team spotlight
Though if you’re hoping to nominate someone for recognition on the 2022 CES stage, it’s too late. The nomination period for the 2021 Women To Watch Global Awards closed on May 14, 2021.
The Women to Watch in UAS 2021 awards will now be presented live on Thursday, January 6th, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center as part of CES 2022.