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Diversity-in-Motion Workshop Recap


Written By: Bree Sullivan, Bayside Engineering, Inc.

The WTS-Boston Diversity and Special Projects Committees collaborated, with help from the MassDOT Women’s Employee Resource Group, on the recent Diversity-in-Motion Workshop held on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the State Transportation Building. The event featured three panelists:

  • Maria Fernanda Canton, Assistant Director of Affirmative Action Compliance & EEO Programs Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (ODCR), MBTA-MassDOT
  • Monica Tibbits-Nutt, Executive Director 128 Business Council – Fiscal and Management Control Board, MBTA – MassDOT Board of Directors;
  • Tina M. Lee, Civil Rights Specialist, Federal Highway Administrator Mass-Vermont Division.


Moderated by Penny Nickel, Co-chair of the Women’s Employee Resource Group, MBTA-MassDOT, the panelists shared personal experiences that influenced their careers. In addition, panelists offered tools that they found essential to fostering diversity in the workplace.





Discussions between panelists and participants about barriers to diversity in the workplace brought about numerous possible solutions, including:

  • Building management and advisory boards of diverse identities
  • Including diversity and inclusion as part of a mission statement and holdingpeople accountable to that policy
  • Increasing a diverse candidate pool by communicating opportunities to new communities
  • Supporting each other more
  • Creatingopportunities for people who are underrepresented
  • Developing/expanding mentoring, outreach, and apprenticeship programs
  • Developing/expandingpeer groups/employee resource groups

At the close of the event, Penny Nickel challenged each attendee to tackle diversity in the following ways:

1.       Have a conversation with someone outside of your regular circle of friends; making new connections while discovering another’s unique and diverse background.

2.       Do something to introduce the transportation industry to the next generation. (Speak in a school classroom, participate in a career fair, sponsor an event, etc.)

3.       Invite a teenager (middle school/high school aged girl) to participate in the MassDOT/WTS “Transportation You” Summit (date to be announced).

The Diversity and Special Projects Committees would like to thank the panelists and all who attended the Diversity-in-Motion Workshop. Stay tuned for future events! Interested in getting involved? For more information on joining a WTS-Boston committee, please find co-chair contact information at http://www.wtsinternational.org/boston/committee_chairs/.



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