WTS International was founded in 1977 by a group of pioneering women in transportation who realized that women’s careers would benefit from professional development, encouragement and recognition to support their advancement in transportation professions. Now, after more than 40 years of growth and development, WTS is an international organization with more than 8,500 members (including women and men) and 62 chapters. WTS is connected to a network of 40,000 transportation professionals. Local chapters generate high-caliber professional development and networking opportunities for WTS members across the United States and Canada. Through its professional activities, networking opportunities, and unparalleled access to industry and government leaders, WTS is turning the glass ceiling into a career portal.
WTS stands for Women's Transportation Seminar, which was how it was named when founded in 1977 when women couldn't get subsidized for association memberships unless they were educational. But times have changed, and now joining an association is an opportunity women and men can take advantage of to work together and benefit each other in their careers.
We are what we do, and WTS International does a great deal. To fulfill its mission of advancing both the transportation industry and the professional women who are a growing part of it, WTS gives its members all of the necessary tools:
- Access. WTS provides unprecedented access to the highest levels of the transportation industry (in fact, many WTS members are top leaders in the industry).
- Programs. The backbone of WTS, these monthly programs facilitate member interaction with distinguished, thought-provoking speakers. The programs are an intimate opportunity to engage transportation leaders and other members in discussions about the most vital transportation issues of the day.
- Networking. Networking opportunities are a central advantage to WTS members. A key tool to facilitating networking across chapters is the TransPortal, a members-only professional networking site that delivers access to the chapters where members can view events, announcements, participate in a variety of different discussions, collaborate on projects, and engage in dialogue with other members.
- WTS Knowledge Lab. Members-only portal to documents, videos, transcripts, and other resources that offer career and transportation industry content. This information is curated specifically for WTS membership, organized and searchable by topic, mode, and career level.
- Mentoring. WTS offers a successful mentoring program to all members, developed to benefit both the mentor as well as the mentee. Benefits for the mentor include sharing career success stories with future women leaders, building long-term relationships, and giving back to an industry that needs to hear and remember these stories. Mentees gain the knowledge and wisdom of the women pioneers who blazed the path before them. WTS also offers a variety of netowrking events with other mentor teams.
- Annual Conference. Attracting scores of the top names in transportation each year, the annual WTS conference focuses on critical transportation themes. The conference provides a forum for the exploration of technical, policy, financial, and political aspects of emerging transportation issues in virtually every sector while affording members outstanding networking opportunities and insider exposure to the host city's latest transportation megaproject.
- International Membership Directory. This directory is a powerful, highly coveted career tool. Giving each member access to other WTS professionals, the directory empowers members to obtain critical information, solicit career advice and discover emerging opportunities.
- Annual Awards. Each year, WTS recognizes members, women, and employers who embody the WTS pursuit of transportation excellence through the achievement and success of women.
- Career Center. The WTS Career Center is the premier electronic recruitment resource for the industry. Employers and recruiters can access the most qualified talent pool with relevant work experience to fulfill staffing needs and job seekers can search for positions tailored to the transportation industry.
- Professional Development. WTS fosters professional development by offering a diverse mix of contacts within and across transportation sectors. Career development seminars, legislative forums, and roundtable discussions provide comprehensive educational and career-focused guidance and preparation, as well as valuable exposure to critical and timely transportation issues.
- Leadership Training Program. This program selects a group of qualified participants each year for personal training and interaction with leading industry professionals. Challenging their analytical and creative skills, program leaders mentor participants in tackling case studies and exercises dealing with complex transportation issues of people, policy, and politics.
- WTS/Diane Woodend Jones Eno Foundation Fellowship. The Eno Fellowship reserves a space each year for one female member of WTS to attend the Eno Transportation Foundation's leadership development conference. The conference, held in Washington, D.C., offers emerging transportation professionals the opportunity to meet the nation's top policymakers and transportation leaders, become familiar with the development and implementation of transportation public policy, and learn how to influence those policies.
- Scholarships. Logistical barriers can sometimes stand between worthy candidates and their objectives. WTS grants four scholarships every year to assist young women who aspire to professional career in transportation.