By Laura Chace, President and CEO, ITS America and Co-Founder, MobilityXX
MobilityXX is a collaboration between ITS America, WTS International, and The Ray to elevate women’s representation and influence in transportation to produce better outcomes for everyone. It is bringing the transportation industry together to increase the number of women in the transportation workforce by 10 percent in 10 years.
Did you know…women comprise only 15% of a 14.8 million transportation workforce, and even fewer are in executive and decision-making roles? The same study, conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute, found that attracting women to non-traditional female industries relies on the perception of the diversity of the organization, early connections with students, incentives, flexible workplaces, a welcoming culture, and connection to congruent communal goals.
Under representation in the transportation industry has real-world consequences - transportation is a key connector to economic opportunity, healthcare, education, critical services and goods, social interaction, and overall well-being. For communities across the nation, transportation is a critical component to economic inclusion and contributing to a stronger economy for everyone.
Successfully promoting women in the transportation industry requires opportunities for advancement, availability of role models (especially female ones) and, retaining women in the transportation industry can be related to actual workplace culture, clear steps to advancement and availability of ongoing mentorship and succession planning. Diversity in leadership and in teams creates favorable business outcomes that benefit men and women alike – more innovation and more profitability. According to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 percent more likely to have superior value creation.
U.S. Census data shows that from 2005 to 2019, the proportion of women in transportation occupations only increased by 3%. While access to transportation is directly linked to economic opportunity, women are at a considerable disadvantage:
How can we address these inequities? MobilityXX, a partnership of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), The Ray and WTS International, is engaging the broader transportation industry to increase the number of women from all backgrounds in the transportation workforce by 10% over the next 10 years. To effectively solve the complex challenges in the transportation industry, we must include more diverse perspectives at the table to ensure produce better outcomes for everyone.
The MobilityXX pledge asks organizations – in the public and private sectors - to commit to this goal by completing two or more action steps from a menu of options over the next year. These actions are designed to increase the number and influence of women in these organizations – things like baselining gender and diversity makeup and measuring annually, diversifying programming to ensure varied perspectives are represented, creating sponsorship programs to build women leaders, and internship programs targeted to women and diverse candidates to name a few.
We have the power and potential to bring about positive change in transportation by attracting and promoting more women – join us, and take the pledge today!
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