Advancing Women in Transportation

Tips from the Top with Shirley DeLibero

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“They were very vocal about the fact that I was black—and they didn’t say black then…I knew I was just going to have to be tough.” – Shirley DeLibero

Former CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Texas (Houston Metro), Shirley DeLibero has spent 30 years leading public transportation agencies and improving services around the country. She has seized many opportunities in the transportation industry which have included executive level positions with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), New Jersey Transit (NJT). Shirley has also served on the WTS International Board where she worked towards achieving the WTS mission to attract, sustain, connect and advance women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) honors Shirley’s achievements by recognizing an outstanding professional in the transportation industry with the Shirley A. DeLibero award.

Take Risks

“To be successful you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to take risks. And this is where confidence comes in.”

Don’t Be Afraid of Politics

“Today you not only have to be educated, you have to be politically astute. Jobs today are more political than they’ve ever been.”

Know the People

“People want you to know who they are, that they’re not just a number on a timecard…I hope this new generation realizes that you need to be out and about.”

Shirley prioritized getting to know her staff, by having meetings in the field, encouraging celebrations around holidays, and getting to know the unions. Her motto is, “If you take care of the people, they will take care of the product.”

 

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