Advancing women in transportation: Closing the gap

Posted on May 13, 2014 by - Also by this author

Two women discuss a project featured at the 2013 WTS Annual Conference in Philadelphia.
Two women discuss a project featured at the 2013 WTS Annual Conference in Philadelphia.

With President Obama’s recent bills regarding gender equality in the workplace, it’s hard to understand why gaps regarding pay, position, and opportunity for women still exist and why, in some industries such as transportation, gaps regarding position and opportunity are wider than in others.

Study after study has illustrated that employee performance is increased with programs that offer flexibility and recognition for women in the workplace. That company performance is increased as more women are included in the board room. That there is a direct link between economic performance and the advancement of women into senior positions.

To be fair — and here comes the conundrum — a great number of companies and agencies within both the transportation industry’s public and private sectors do in fact offer great programs and policies that have been in existence for some time.

As an example, HDR Engineering conducts an annual internal audit that includes minorities and women to verify employees are classified and compensated correctly and that there are no discrimination issues, and they’ve enhanced their flex-time and part-time programs to encourage recruitment and retention of women with children.

A WTS Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Transportation YOU meeting takes place at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
A WTS Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Transportation YOU meeting takes place at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

On the public sector side, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is also an example of an organization that supports the retention and advancement of women in the industry. The FTA has been a driving force in enabling small and disadvantaged businesses, as its leadership has been instrumental in making changes beneficial to small business and is taking an active role in providing opportunities and encouraging women to pursue transportation as a career path.

So the question remains: Why is the gap between the number of women and the number of men in professional positions in transportation so wide? What can be done to attract more women to the industry, retain them through their career cycle, and ultimately advance them to the boardroom where they can affect greater organization performance, and ultimately, benefit the economy?

Marcia Ferranto is President/CEO of WTS International. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., WTS seeks to attract, retain and advance women in transportation.

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Training bus documentation...focus on the facts."

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

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

February 1, 2017

Overcoming obstacles in mobility on-demand public-private agreements

The recent rise of “mobility on demand” services like Uber and Zipcar has shifted society’s understanding of transportation systems and how they operate. Governments, advocates, and communities are responding by experimenting with their relationships to these services to ensure that on-demand options work with transportation networks to benefit public mobility.

January 19, 2017

D.C. event shares perspectives on today's (and tomorrow's) mobility challenges

With the transportation landscape evolving quickly in recent years — new mobility options and growing support for transit and bicycling — decision-makers face greater opportunity and unpredictability in how they can utilize and react to such options.

December 28, 2016

Why 'Tactical Transit' is the Next Big Thing

The raffish, worldwide movement known as tactical urbanism appears poised to take on a meatier role in improving transit in bus corridors. By providing low-cost, agile alternatives to lengthy street improvement processes, “tactical transit” has the ability to jumpstart virtuous cycles of increasing bus ridership by speeding up travel times, improving passenger experience, and enhancing overall perceptions of riding the bus.

December 14, 2016

SEPTA's Supervisor Training Program Helps Employees Move Up the Ladder

The AIM AD programs was designed by SEPTA to expand the pool of supervisors who are ready to move into assistant director positions in the agency's operations and engineering, maintenance, and construction divisions.

November 9, 2016

How an Innovative Plan Helped a Veteran Find Work Building Railcars

It is the early 2000s, and as the sun rises over Southern California, most people are still fast asleep. Kristian Mendoza, however, is up and getting ready for work. He doesn’t have to be in until eight, but his commute can sometimes take up to an hour-and-a-half each way. This job pays so little that he can barely afford the gas to commute to it, let alone provide the time and care he would like for his two young children.

See More

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational 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