From The Leadership: Advancing Women, Advancing Transportation Together
A letter from Paula Hammond, Chair, and Sara Stickler, President and CEO
Dear WTS Members and Friends,
WTS International and the WTS Foundation have outlined an aggressive 2022 Business Plan, tackling many priorities and objectives of our new strategic plan. This year will be our return to in-person events at the international level, after almost two and a half years of virtual events due to the ongoing pandemic. We hope you join us at the 2022 WTS Annual Conference in Seattle, WA, in May. This year’s conference is shaping up to be our best yet as we celebrate being back together to network, share experiences and knowledge, learn, and enjoy new and old friendships.
To summarize our 2022 plan, we want to share the five themes that capture the objectives of our work this year:
- One-WTS: This is the most important theme of our plan this year, and the basis of our 2021–2026 Strategic Plan. Our work over the last three years has been to unify and strengthen the collaboration between WTS entities (International, the Foundation, and Chapters), and we will continue to prioritize that work. We all share in our WTS vision, mission, and goals. Our priorities this year are to amplify the shared impact of the organization. With 8,500 members and 65 Chapters, the WTS organization is strong and growing, and the impact of a One-WTS to our industry and to the advancement of women is a story worth telling and sharing.
- Data Storytelling: We are committed to communicating and promoting the WTS mission using data to tell a story of the WTS impact, network, and influence.
- At WTS International, we are also committed to leading by example, and that means Modeling the Ideal. We want to be the example we seek and model the ideal state of diverse and equitable transportation industry that WTS envisions and promotes. That starts with the WTS staff and leadership, including our International and Foundation Board of Directors, and our speakers and facilitators. We have welcomed key hires to the WTS International team, expanding on the diverse backgrounds and experiences that represent our team.
- Influencing Change: At WTS, we are committed to advancing transportation through programming, training, and advocacy initiatives and providing our members the tools and resources to influence change in the industry.
- And our fifth theme–advancement through collaboration: We are better together. We are committed to driving change through strategic partnerships and collaborative coalitions. The WTS organization, our network, and our brand are strong and impactful. As we see much-needed attention and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and as we realize or actualize the ambitious goals of the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, we will need a diverse and capable workforce. WTS is well-positioned to support and lead these initiatives. And through collaboration, our ability to drive change only strengthens.
You will see this work reflected and advocated for throughout the year in our activities, communications, and programming.
As we near the end of the 2020–2022 Board Term, WTS members should watch their inboxes for the ballot for the incoming 2022–2024 WTS International Board slate and another for updated Bylaws for the association. We have a tremendous slate of candidates for this next Board term and continue to be impressed and inspired by the many capable and generous WTS members who give their time and talent to advance our mission at the Chapter, Regional, and International level.
The pandemic changed so much about our ability to gather and interact personally with our peers, clients, and work colleagues. As we forge a path toward a different “normal” in our careers, connecting with women and supportive men at WTS is essential now more than ever. Networking, mentorship, and training around leadership and transportation technical information are all benefits of a WTS membership.
In celebration and commemoration of Women’s History Month in March, WTS is offering a 15% discount on membership to all new members. Use code WHM2022 at check out. We have an exciting lineup of events in March in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day–all complimentary to members!
Now is the time for bold action and leadership to support the workforce needs of our public agencies and private sector companies. The emphasis internationally on equity and inclusion in growing and developing a diverse and capable workforce and in meeting ambitious goals for accessible and reliable transportation for all requires action together–join us!
Sara Stickler, CAE
President & CEO