From the Leadership: Women's Equality Day 2022
Just four years before the formation of WTS International, the United States Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. August 26th was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting only certain women the right to vote.
The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but, in theory, also calls attention to continuing efforts for the full equality for women and the underrepresented. The reality is that history is never simple. While white women were successful in gaining the right to vote in 1920, it has taken other women decades longer to obtain that same right. Many people of color did not fully gain the legal right to vote in the U.S. until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which barred racial discrimination at the polls, and the subsequent 1975 extension of that Act. Even with the passing of the Snyder Act back in 1924, shortly after the 19th Amendment, it still took over 40 additional years for all U.S. states to allow the Native American vote.
But despite the 19th Amendment and actions in the ‘60s and ‘70s, voter suppression continues today through gerrymandering, voter ID laws, direct harassment, and more. We can acknowledge Women’s Equality Day as an important and groundbreaking milestone for women’s rights. But there is much, much more to do in recognizing and rectifying imbalance, and working diligently for policies that continue to protect women’s basic rights.
How do we celebrate Women’s Equality Day as #OneWTS? Through continued action.
If you are not a member of WTS International, I encourage you to join today. Through WTS and our 67 local chapters, we currently offer and will continue to build new educational programming, volunteer and leadership opportunities, networking, and other engagement opportunities. Next week, we will launch applications and interest forms for WTS International Standing Committees and Task Forces, including WTS Chapter Operations Task Force, WTS DBE/Small Business Subcommittee, WTS Legislative Committee, WTS Workforce Development Task Force, the WTS Foundation Educational Programming Committee and WTS Foundation Scholarship Selection & Scholar Engagement Committee.
These committees offer an excellent opportunity for our members to promote and lead continuing efforts for equality in all levels of the transportation workforce — from frontline operations professionals to executive management. Their work will directly impact the greater advancement of under-represented in our sector, so please stay tuned for more information.
Again, thank you to our WTS community for continuing to be a fierce advocate for women’s rights — on August 26th and every day. It is an honor to work alongside our members as we strive toward a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible future of transportation.
Sara M. Stickler, CAE
President & CEO