Advancing Women in Transportation

2020 WTS-Boston Formal Mentoring Program

The WTS-Boston Mentoring Program will be starting in January 2020. This program will match seasoned leaders in the transportation industry with emerging professionals in mentor-mentee pairs for a six-month program. Last year’s program was well-received and we are excited to kick off the 2020 program using the same format.

Why is this Program Needed?

WTS International’s mission is to provide access and equity for all women in transportation. At its core, across all chapters, WTS provides professional development opportunities for its members, offering encouragement and recognition to support the advancement of rising professionals as they grow in their careers. Mentoring is cited as both a specific goal area for WTS International and as one of its six guiding principles (for WTS to help shape future generations of transportation leaders).

A formal chapter mentoring program for WTS-Boston will provide the opportunity for emerging professionals to access more experienced professionals in the industry, providing them with insights that could have a lasting and tangible effect on their careers. Mentors in turn benefit from sharing career success stories with future leaders, building long-term relationships, and giving back to an industry that helped them in previous years.

Is it Just Open to Women?

No. In fact, this program will be most successful if it solicits active participation from men and women as both mentors and mentees. Why is that? In Boston, we have some fabulous female leaders and wish to counter a dynamic that would say only women learn from women. Men learn from women, too! Furthermore, we are fortunate to have incredible male leaders in Boston who are WTS members and supporters, with invaluable lessons to share with emerging professionals.

NOTE: We do not plan to match up male mentees with male mentors as part of this program.

What Does Participation Look Like?

Participation is easy. There are two components: mentor-mentee meetings (one-on-one) and group professional development sessions with all mentor-mentee pairs. We plan to host monthly professional development sessions between January and June 2020. Dates, times, and locations are to be determined, but we seek predictability in that we hope to hold events at a certain date and time that works for most participants, at one central location. Events would be structured around topics with invited speakers. Possible topics include:

●     Diversity and inclusion

●     Mini-interview workshop

●     Self-care

●     To family or not to family

●     Having difficult conversations

●     Managing up

●     Working with different personalities

●     Company culture and why it matters

●     Why should I run for public office?

Mentors and mentees are asked to attend all mentoring events together if possible. They are also asked to get together once a month (or more if they wish) informally one-on-one or as small groups outside the formal mentoring events. Mentors are encouraged to meet up with their mentees at WTS-Boston events and to introduce them to other people in the transportation field. Above all, mentors are expected to act as a resource. They are asked to provide guidance and to answer mentees’ questions honestly and sincerely. Mentor/mentee conversations revolve around identifying and taking advantage of opportunities. A mentor should be willing to answer the questions: What is your success story? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome adversity?

Who is Eligible?

The program is open to current WTS-Boston members only, with preference given to active members of WTS. Has your membership lapsed? Renew here!

How do I Apply?

The application is designed to be straightforward and provides the first step in matching mentors with mentees by asking participants what they hope to get out of the program, the best times to meet, and the best way to communicate. Mentors will be able to meet prospective mentees at the first Mentoring Event and will be able to provide preferences following that meeting. Mentors and mentees will be matched by the WTS-Boston Mentoring Committee based on career background and interests, what mentors and mentees hope to get out of the program, and preferences on when to meet and how to communicate. Application requirements include:

●     Resume

●     Bio

●     Application

Applications are due Friday, November 22 and must be emailed to

●     Click here for an application to be a mentor

●     Click here for an application to be a mentee

What Happens Next?

We plan to admit 10 mentors and 10 mentees (20 participants total). Participants will be selected based on the quality and completeness of the application, with preference given to members who are and/or have been active with WTS-Boston.

Accepted participants will be notified in December 2019 and guidance materials will be sent out in advance of the kickoff event in January 2020. Guidance material will include brief bios of participants, a schedule of events (including dates, times, topics, speakers, and location of events), and expectations. At the kickoff event in January 2020, mentors and mentees will meet and talk with each other about meeting preferences. We will ask participants to set their own realistic schedule. Participants will determine:

●     How they will meet, whether in person, by phone, or through video conference

●     How often they will meet (at least once a month) and how long meetings will last

●     Their goals for the program

For more information on this program, please contact Caroline Leary or Sarah Davis at


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