A workforce must see leaders who look like themselves – it makes it easier to understand what’s possible. If you’re an old, white male (like me) you’ve probably always seen many, many people in business who look like you. For lots of other groups, that is not necessarily the case.
In a passage which brings you up short, WTS International director Lindsay Shelton-Gross writes in this issue of ITS International: “Founded in 1977, the Women’s Transportation Seminar was created to give women employed in the transportation industry a safe and inclusive space to convene and network. At the time, women were not permitted to maintain a separate professional organisation that was unrelated to education, thus the ‘seminar’ piece of our legal name.”
Wow. And indeed, wow again. Fortunately, attitudes (and the law) have changed and continue to develop: not fast enough, but changing nonetheless.
Diversity is vital for the success of any venture, and that includes transportation. It may not always be possible in every instance, but surely a team of different genders, backgrounds and ages, thinking different thoughts, taking diverse approaches, questioning each other’s assumptions and bringing unique lived experiences to their roles, will have the power to make a company, an organisation, a project stronger. And not just stronger, but more inclusive, more relevant, better.
On that note, Movmi is expanding its Empower Women in Shared Mobility programme for 2023 and ITS International is proud to support it. The winner will receive a 12-month mentoring package which includes access to the entire EmpowerWISM network. Deadline for applications is 20 December.
Equity is now firmly part of the conversation in the ITS world. How much change comes out of that conversation is up to all of us.
And finally, some personal news … there is a new addition to the ITS International family! We’ve launched Electric Vehicle Charging & Infrastructure (www.evcandi.com) to address major issues which cross over with the ITS community: decarbonisation, alternative energy and electrification.
We’ll still publish some stories on these topics ourselves – but we’ve decided it makes sense to dedicate a whole new venture to how the roll-out of charging infrastructure is working worldwide, who is going to pay for it, what best practice looks like, and so on.
The new site is full of good stuff – you’ll be in safe hands over there and we’re happy to let our younger sibling have some of the limelight. For now. We’ll be quick to remind them who got here first.