Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15 through October 15 each year. It is a time to celebrate the cultures and contributions of Americans with Spanish, Caribbean, Central and South American ancestry.

The 2020 theme for National Hispanic Heritage Month is: “Hispanics: Be Proud of your Past and Embrace the Future.” This month, we commemorate the achievements of Hispanic and Latinx Americans in transportation aligned fields, including government, environment, and research. In recognizing these accomplishments, discrimination and under-representation of Hispanic and Latinx Americans must also be acknowledged.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, Latinx women make about 58 cents on the dollar when compared to white men. Pew also found that while they make up 16% of the U.S. workforce, Hispanic and Latinx workers make up just 7% of STEM workers. There is an even wider pay gap for Hispanics and Latinxs in STEM jobs than there is in non-STEM jobs. These disparities illustrate the underrepresentation of Hispanic and Latinx people and the room for growth across sectors, especially in STEM. However, the U.S Department of Transportation says that the number of Hispanic Americans working in transportation is on the rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration leads the department with nearly one quarter of its employees who identify as Hispanic or Latinx.

At WTS we recognize the intersectionality of the individuals who make up our network and are committed to making meaningful contributions towards equity and inclusivity in the Transportation industry. We celebrate the more than 1,300 WTS members who identify as Hispanic or Latinx. They are analysts, engineers, planners, educators, executives and more who are valued members of our community and the transportation industry as a whole.

WTS International Diversity and Inclusion Initiative is in support of our vision for equity and access for women in transportation. WTS Student membership is free of charge in an effort to attract emerging professionals to transportation and related STEM fields. WTS International is committed to making the transportation industry an inclusive place for all professionals regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or geography.