An Air Force pilot climbs into a EA-18G Growler aircraft in 2018. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The Air Force removed its minimum and maximum hight requirement for pilots in an attempt to expand the diversity of its pool of prospective applicants, specifically to encourage more women to enlist.

Why it matters: The previous height requirement of between 5-foot-4 and 6-foot-5, with a sitting height of 34 to 40 inches, eliminated around 44% of American women between the ages of 20 and 29.

  • The new policy, which went into effect on May 13, no longer requires applicants to submit a height waiver.

What they're saying: "We’re really focused on identifying and eliminating barriers to serve in the Air Force," Gwendolyn DeFilippi, assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said in a statement. "This is a huge win, especially for women and minorities of smaller stature who previously may have assumed they weren’t qualified to join our team."

  • Lt. Col. Jessica Ruttenber, Air Force mobility planner and programmer and team leader on the Women’s Initiative Team, said the waiver process for initiates outside the height requirements "served as a barrier, which negatively impacted female rated accessions."
  • Ruttenber added that, historically, most of the Air Force's aircraft were engineered around the height of an average male.

Go deeper: Military scrambles to recruit during coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper

Women-focused non-profit newsrooms surge forward in 2020

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Women are pushing back against the gender imbalance in media by launching their own news nonprofits and focusing on topics many traditional news companies have long ignored.

Why it matters: "The news business is already gendered," says Emily Ramshaw, co-founder and CEO of The 19th*, a new nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting at the intersection of women, politics and policy.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin: