Initiative encourages women to pursue transportation careers

Posted on May 20, 2010

On Thursday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed an agreement with the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International to encourage women to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math while pursuing careers in transportation.


The signing took place at WTS’ annual conference this week in Washington, D.C. WTS is an international association dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation.


“There’s tremendous opportunity out there for women interested in transportation-related careers,” said LaHood. “We need to do more to prepare, train and educate young women about the possibilities that await them.”


LaHood said the need for environmental engineers and technicians is expected to rise by 30 percent over the next decade. The Department of Labor reported in 2008 that less than 6 percent of employed women worked in transportation, and only 10 percent of all civil engineers in the U.S. are women.


The joint initiative will support the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) through a strategic partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International.  


“We are excited to launch this strategic partnership with US DOT and to help develop a transportation workforce of the future,” said Elaine Dezenski, WTS International president. “Through this effort, we will work with government and industry to attract and prepare more women for careers in transportation. Our goal is to help create a 21st century workforce to support a transportation network and infrastructure needed in the 21st century. And this program is a perfect complement to WTS’ ongoing advancement initiatives.”


Utilizing its network of 45 chapters and more than 4,000 transportation professionals, WTS will work with the U.S. Department of Transportation to organize a series of outreach sessions in 2010 and 2011 throughout the US. Sessions will focus on workforce development as it relates to STEM, with specific attention given to attracting and retaining a highly qualified, diverse and technically advanced workforce for the future.  


The Memorandum of Cooperation signed on Thursday supports the following key goals:


  • understanding where gaps exist in the attraction and retention of women in transportation-oriented technical fields such as engineering and logistics.
  • developing a tool kit of best practices in the areas of mentoring, promoting women entrepreneurs and attracting students in technical fields into transportation.
  • developing more effective professional development opportunities for women across the lifecycle of a career.
  • developing ideas and partnerships to encourage girls (13-18 years) to consider careers in transportation. 
  • engaging the WTS community in a broad-based policy initiative that supports the advancement of women in transportation.

The initiative supports both the DOT strategic plan and its goal to achieve organizational excellence in workforce development and the WTS mission to transform transportation through the advancement of women.


For more information about WTS, go to


For more information on STEM - see

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA issues guidance on how transit agencies can implement ADA

To enhance understanding of the Act, the new circular offers a user-friendly, one-stop resource on its requirements.

CTED workshop to focus on ADA requirements, small bus inspections

The course is instructed by Halsey King, a well renowned speaker and writer on maintenance and technology issues, that includes repair, inspection and management of vehicle fleets.

S.D. council softening stance against raising paratransit fares

The about-face came just six days after an internal audit of the city's public transportation system was released to the council. In it is a recommendation to raise paratransit rates to $2.50 a ride from the $2 fee riders have paid since 1996.

AC Transit, BART celebrates ADA's 25th anniversary, new paratransit office

Since the ADA’s signing in 1990, AC Transit and BART have worked to ensure disabled residents are able to enjoy the many benefits of public transportation. The two agencies joined together in 1994 to form the East Bay Paratransit Consortium.

Chicago Pace's draft budget includes paratransit shortfall

A paratransit fare increase may be proposed to fill the gap; however, Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross acknowledged it would be very difficult for those riders to absorb.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close