As Delta Air Lines’ Executive Sponsor for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I feel it’s important that I speak on behalf of the airline’s 80,000 employees worldwide as well as our generous customers to set the record straight.I recently read the New York Times story, “A Growing Disenchantment With October ‘Pinkification’” and was extremely disappointed with the way it portrayed Delta Air Lines’ commitment to breast cancer research.
The story notes Delta’s pink plane, our flight attendants’ pink dresses and the sale of pink lemonade and implies that our commitment stops there. That it’s just ‘pinkwashing’. What the story fails to mention is that Delta’s commitment goes far beyond wearing a pink ribbon or pink dress. We are not just raising awareness for the cause, we are demanding action.
In 2005, Delta chose to partner with BCRF to fund researchers in the pursuit of eradicating breast cancer. Since inception, BCRF has raised more than half a billion dollars for lifesaving research. And, by spending 91 cents of every dollar on research and public awareness, BCRF remains one of the nation's most fiscally responsible nonprofits.
Each year, our employees, customers and their friends and family members unite in their passion to support BCRF. Over the past 10 years, we have raised nearly $10 million for breast cancer research. The collective contributions have funded the vital work of 37 different research projects and currently support five worldwide researchers for the 2015-2016 year.
So when you’re flying on Delta during the month of October and notice our ‘pinkwashing’, please know that it’s ‘pinkwashing’ with action and purpose and is fueled by the passion of our employees who have chosen to carry us closer to a cure.
Sandy Gordon is Delta's Vice President – In-Flight Service Field Operations