Letter from the Executive Director

 Dear WTS Community,  

As we head into the fourth quarter of 2020, I find myself reflecting back on this year.  With its challenges and uncertainties, I’m sure we can all confidentially say this year was not at all what we expected.  With a global pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans to date and over one million globally, the cultural challenges our country faces as we address racial injustice, and as we mourn the recent loss of a titan in the gender equality movement with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this year has been heavy and tested our resilience. 

I have been impressed with the flexibility and adaptability of our WTS Chapters, as they respond to the challenges this year has provided. Our chapters have shifted to virtual events using new platforms to connect with each other and collaborate on events with members from around North America.  I’ve seen mentoring programs taking place in Microsoft Teams, leadership bookclubs in Zoom, Youtube Live scholarship galas, and even an after-gala dance party in Twitch.TV!  Our WTS Chapters have also responded to the need of holding difficult conversations in their communities and asking that we challenge our own bias, conscious and unconscious, in the way we think and behave in our everyday lives. As we look at ways to network and connect virtually, I encourage you to visit our recently launched MyWTS Communities. This refreshed platform, formerly TransPortal, allows you to connect with members from across North America, find a mentor or sign up to be a mentor, enter or search our Speakers Bureau, and access top transportation news and research in our Knowledge Lab. 

This time of year is also nostalgic for me, as it was two years ago that I joined WTS. I consider it a privilege to serve an Organization that reflects my personal values, a vision of equity and access. The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching with the potential to set women back a generation as women leave the workforce and families transition to online and virtual learning.  This makes the WTS mission more relevant than ever: Attract, Sustain, Connect and Advance women’s careers to advance the transportation industry.  We have a great opportunity to continue our work in attracting young girls to the transportation industry through education, scholarship and research. We have an obligation to sustain, connect and advance women in the industry today and support the women leaders of the future.  

This year has been heavy, but we are resilient! I look forward to seeing all that we can continue to accomplish together.