Who are we? The Women in ITE Program Committee fosters gender inclusion amongst transportation professionals and the communities we serve through testimony and research.
Our Goals are to make it easier to talk about gender inclusion and to find successes that can be replicated by ITE, workplaces, and in designing infrastructure for communities.
Upcoming webinar: Technology and AI: Don't Get Left Behind, Thursday, January 25, 2024 | 2:00—3:30 p.m. ET. Register here.
The Women in ITE members are excited about the buzz that surrounds new technology, AI, and the potential new uses that come along with these advances, but we are not all confident in our understanding of the benefits and challenges that come along with these technological advances that we are unable to avoid in our industry.
The Women in ITE Committee has gathered industry giant insight from impressive leaders in the field like Laura Chace - the President and CEO of ITS America, Monali Shah - Transformation Catalyst at Google, Sophia Mohr - Chief Innovation and Technology Officer for the Central Ohio Transit Authority, and Julie Evans - Principal ITS Analyst at Mitre, each of whom will discuss the most important burning issues about technology and artificial intelligence, and how can we make artificial intelligence applications feel more approachable for women. The distinguished panel will discuss ways to stay ahead of the curve on technology to be more efficient in our day-to-day lives, and how to discern if we want to become a supporting voice. You will not want to miss this riveting panel discussion.
Women in ITE Virtual Bootcamp, Part 4: Interviewing Dos and Don’ts, Now Available!
Drumroll, please... Women in ITE proudly presents 'Interviewing Dos and Don'ts.' Click on the links below to access our video series on dos and don'ts for effective interviewing.
Dive into a comprehensive approach to interview success, featuring effective strategies and vital tips on avoiding common pitfalls. From mastering interview techniques to sidestepping mistakes, our content is your key to excelling in interviews with unwavering confidence.
Join us on this journey to enhance your interview skills and achieve your career goals!
In the post-pandemic workplace, women leaders are leaving their companies and switching jobs faster than ever before. A 2022 McKinsey and LeanIn.org report found that for every director-level woman being promoted to the next level, two women directors are leaving. In what is being dubbed “the Great Breakup”, women are leaving in response to a number of systemic issues – such as being passed up for promotions or experiencing unfair treatment, lack of flexible work options and support from their managers, and fewer opportunities to advance.
The study found that the “broken rung” remains unfixed – women are not being promoted at the first step to manager: for every 100 men promoted from an entry-level role to a management role, only 87 women and 82 women of colour received the same opportunity. This disparity only widens at increasing levels of seniority. Women are also overworked – something exacerbated by the pandemic. The 2022 McKinsey and LeanIn.org report found that 43% of women leaders were burned out, compared to 31% of men leaders. Women are also driven to leave if their organization doesn’t prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
This panel event will focus on how women are getting the careers they want. Our featured speakers are three trailblazing women in senior leadership roles within the transportation profession, who will share their experience building the careers they want, at each stage of their lives. There will be opportunity for Q&A and interactive discussion.
Leading in a Hybrid World Panel Discussion—February 8, 2023
ITE’s Women in ITE Committee and ITS America partnered to bring you the Women in the Workforce webinar. This webinar, was held April 27 and was specifically designed to discuss new ways of learning and developing that provide a supportive environment for women in the workforce. The Women in the Workforce webinar’s mission was to inspire and empower women to lead in their workplaces and communities. The discussions were recorded and archived and you can view them here:
Student to Professional Video Resource Library - ITE’s Women in ITE Committee and Student to Younger Member Transition Task Force recently collaborated on this project to assist students and young professionals navigate the beginning stages of careers in transportation. Our District Rising Stars and 2021 Young Leaders to Follow were interviewed on a variety of topics noted below ranging from career options to the importance of certifications.
Women in Leadership: Words of Wisdom for the Next Generation - ITE’s Women in ITE Committee recently interviewed five women leaders in transportation to assist young professionals navigate the early stages of careers in transportation. They were interviewed on a variety of topics like their first job, career plans, challenges in their career and hopes for the future. The webinar will include a series of pre-recorded interviews followed by a live Q & A session. If you would like to watch the original prerecorded video that was unable to play live, you may view that here.
Save the Date! During 2023, the Women in ITE will host four Women in ITE Boot Camp Programs.
Each month we will explore a new topic that contributes to safe, equal opportunities in the transportation profession and the communities we serve. The sidebar shows a tentative schedule for topics
I joined this committee when I realized we could make a difference – so much great work is out there. -Jen Malzer, Canadian District
I joined this committee because I remember being the only female engineer in many settings early in my career. I was fortunate enough to have great mentors surrounding and supporting me. I want to help other engineers have the same level of confidence that I was able to experiences. - Angela Garland, PE, PTOE, Pennoni
What do you think when someone mentions discrimination? Often, we first think of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. It is highly unlikely that the first thing that comes to mind is “age”. However, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 21.1% of cases in 2022 cited “age” as a discrimination charge. Ageism, or the discrimination of individuals based on their age is more common among workers over the age of 40 but can affect younger employees as well. According to the EEOC, “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40 and it is not illegal for an employer to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older.”1
Ageism in the workplace can present itself as very subtle or very blatant. Usually, this affects employees at the two ends of the age group spectrum, such as hiring practices that favor hiring younger staff or promotions that overlook younger staff. Marginalization based on age occurs when an employee is excluded from critical work elements and their contributions begin to be undervalued. Although they may seem harmless, age-related jokes, talks of retirement, and demeaning tones are microaggressions that can have a significant impact over time and can also set the stage for larger acts of discrimination. A more obvious example of ageism is forced or encouraged retirement which can be identified through early retirement packages, restructuring, reducing responsibilities and reallocating assignments to younger employees.
An American Psychological Association article in March 20232 discusses how ageism is considered socially acceptable. From “over the hill” parties, to gag gifts for turning certain ages, and a beauty industry obsessed with restoring youthful skin and anti-aging products, society perpetuates the negative stereotypes and ageism in general. Ageism has been so ingrained in our daily lives that we don’t even realize that it is harmful in other ways. According to the article, “People who take in more negative age beliefs tend to show worse physical, cognitive, and mental health.” These beliefs can then affect the workplace, family, and social interactions.
While society creates an acceptance of ageism, there can be several common myths that contribute to workplace discrimination. Employers may assume that older workers are closing in on retirement, they are not up to speed with the latest technology or skill sets required, they will demand higher salaries or that they are not willing to work under younger team members. These biases can cause an employer to lose out on valuable talent. In addition, there is a great need for the communication and soft skills that more seasoned employees possess.
On the flip side, younger workers can face ageism. Examples include being asked to work longer hours at a lower rate of pay, their input can be overlooked or dismissed, assumptions that they are lazy or that their tenure will be short. While these biases may not be as common, studies and polls indicate that younger employees believe they are missing out on opportunities due to ageism.
Additionally, the impact of ageism on women specifically can be significant at all ages. A recent Harvard Business Review article3 describes how it often feels like there is no right age for professional women, and women in leadership roles often face ageism no matter what their age is. Young women can be called pet names, be mistaken for students/interns and must frequently prove themselves to gain credibility. Middle aged women can be overlooked based on assumptions that they “have too many family responsibilities” and may be “difficult to manage due to menopause issues”. And older women may not be seen as relevant or able to advance any further in their careers. It’s important to consider the highly gendered impacts of ageism in the workplace and the relation to looks/appearance that is more widely felt by women.
Age discrimination is illegal at all stages of employment, from hiring to promotions to layoffs. However, it is legal for an employer to ask your age and/or graduation date, unless prohibited by state law. In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that proof of age discrimination must meet a higher burden of proof than other forms of discrimination. There are a lot of rules about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, it is not straight forward. For example, involuntary retirement can be required for executives and when public safety is in danger. We encourage you to know your rights and reach out to experts if you need assistance (https://www.workplacefairness.org/age-discrimination/).
There are many things that can be done to prevent ageism in the workplace. Employers can create a collaborative environment by creating opportunities for multigenerational interactions, develop cross generational mentor programs, provide benefits and development opportunities for all ages, reviewing HR processes and raising awareness. The biggest impact each of us can have is to change our own narrative about age and ageing, participate and advocate for multi-generational interaction and finally be an advocate for inclusion.
No matter what your age, consider this quote by author Cindy McDonald “Aging is not an option, not for anyone. It is how gracefully we handle the process and how lucky we are, as the process handles us.”
By Jodi Godfrey and Lexi Higgins
The scent of the morning dew, mild and humid is a familiar feeling in her nostrils as she wakes and realizes that her nightmares were not a dream at all, but rather she was living her idea of hell. Just a few days prior, frustrated with rules that her parents instilled, she packed a few outfits, a toothbrush and hairbrush, a little makeup, you know, the essentials for a teenage girl, and she ran away in the middle of the night. With no real idea of where she would go, she ended up at the local transit bus transfer center, and realized that she could probably get away with sleeping there. It was cold and fights broke out every now and then, but she didn’t know where else to go. That’s when her trafficker approached her, offering a meal and a place to stay, posing as a safe friend who understood her in a way her parents didn’t.
This scenario, while not extreme, is also not uncommon, and is likely playing out in every city, town, or community that you can think of (yes, even your own) on a regular basis. It is also a quintessential example of what human trafficking can look like in our communities.
Human traffickers don’t necessarily look like the ‘Bad Guy.’ Often traffickers lure their victims into exploitative situations by treating them with affection and attention. Traffickers look for the signs of vulnerability, and they capitalize on that vulnerability to ensure the victim performs as desired through force, fraud, and coercion. Often traffickers will act like they are romantically interested in their victims, to gain their trust and information that can then be used to ensure that the victim does not easily escape. That trauma bond that is often formed is one of the many reasons that it is so difficult to put an end to human trafficking all together.
To start the conversation, it is important that the definition of human trafficking is understood. The U.S. Department of Justice defines human trafficking as a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex. This includes two primary forms of trafficking: Labor trafficking, which is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. And sex trafficking, which is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for commercial sex induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act is under 18. This age minimum is important, because it means that any minor engaged in commercial sex is considered a victim of human trafficking. Consent is not possible prior to 18 years of age. Additionally, prior to adulthood, the part of the brain that is responsible for rational thinking and connecting consequences with choices, the prefrontal cortex, has not yet fully developed.
You may be thinking that human trafficking has nothing to do with your work, or daily life. This issue can feel dark and overwhelming, and often leaves people thinking, ‘Okay, but what can I do?’ The truth is, everyone has a role to play in the fight against human trafficking. And, as a member of the transportation industry, you may even have potential for more impact than others. Here are three things you can do right now:
1. Get informed. The most important thing you can do is learn more about the realities of human trafficking and how to recognize it. Some signs of trafficking could include:
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) offers free, industry-specific training for the transportation industry about human trafficking. In less than an hour, you can complete an online course to learn more about the issue and how you can play a role in fighting it. TAT believes that the transportation industry, from trucking to transit, is uniquely positioned to combat human trafficking as they are literally eyes and ears on the ground across the country. In addition to online training for individuals, TAT offers free plug-and-play training materials to transportation companies and agencies to train their staff, and recently released a response protocol template for transit agencies.
2. Report suspected trafficking. If you do recognize a potential human trafficking situation, you are encouraged to call local law enforcement and/or report the details of the event to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) at (888) 373-7888. The NHTH connects victims of trafficking to resources near them.
Never confront a potential trafficker or intervene directly. Approaching traffickers is not only dangerous for you and their victims, it can also affect prosecution for their crimes down the road. Instead, if a situation is recognized, it is best to remember key characteristics that may help to identify the people involved at a later time. For example, take note of physical characteristics of the people and vehicles, including details such as license plate numbers and overheard nicknames as examples. If you happen to encounter a potential victim that is not with their trafficker, you are encouraged to ask simple questions like, “Are you okay?” or “Can I call someone for you?” because asking if they are a victim of human trafficking will likely not be well received.
A great resource to carry with you should the situation ever arise is the new TAT app, which received a complete makeover for 2024. The app now includes location-based recommendations for local hotlines and service providers, as well as a searchable list of indicators that can help you determine if what you’re seeing could be human trafficking.
3. Share information with your network. The more eyes and ears we have in our communities that are aware of this issue, the better equipped we will be to fight it. Share TAT’s free resources with your contacts in the transportation industry. You can also follow/share our posts on social media. Finally, we encourage you to talk to your families and children about this issue.
There are topics in life that no one seems to want to talk about because they make us feel uncomfortable; most of us would prefer to pretend like these things only happen in the movies. Unfortunately, that is not reality. In reality, it is important that we do talk about these topics so that we can play a role in making change. Whether we want to admit it or not, human trafficking is happening in nearly every city, every town, every community, and yours is no exception. Victims are likely being trafficked in your neighborhood, without you even realizing the activity is taking place.
The good news is, we can all play a role in ending this heinous crime. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to train everyone in our communities to recognize the signs of human trafficking so that it cannot continue to occur in plain sight. We can work together to recognize and report these crimes, and to minimize them from happening in the future. Together we can join forces to fight against human trafficking.
With the holidays right around the corner, celebrating with family and friends can be so much fun! However, just one alcoholic (aka Fully Leaded) beverage can affect a person’s driving. The importance of planning ahead and having a designated driver (DD) is critical for the safety of the vehicles passengers as well as the public at large. But even a DD wants to have a special holiday drink (aka Unleaded). Plan ahead by creating fun drinks for everyone! We have compiled a few WITE favorites of Unleaded drinks safe to take on the road and Fully Leaded drinks to enjoy at home.
For the garnish
Thyme Simple Syrup
Instructions for Thyme Simple Syrup
Instructions for Mocktail
**Alternative Roy Rogers: Substitute Coca-Cola for the Sprite.
Method 1 (Instant Masala Chai Powder) - Ingredients
Method 2 (Masala Chai Powder) - Ingredients
Instructions for Making Tea
Instructions for Method 1
Instructions for Method 2
New Years Eve Toast