Hey ladies! Did you know that there’s world of transportation and civil engineering careers waiting just for YOU! Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) is a non-profit, network organization that serves to advance women in the transportation industry. The best part is, WTS has a STEM program called Transportation YOU that introduces young girls to new and exciting opportunities.
“Transportation YOU is about encouraging girls to get interested in transportation related fields and careers in the civil engineering industry,” said Pegasus Link Constructor’s Public Information and Diversity Manager and WTS member, Adrienne Williams. Adrienne asked me to create a video promo that would capture the importance and fun of the Transportation YOU so that others can be aware of the program to get involved. My assignment was to shoot the Transportation YOU participants as they visited the highway construction offices of Ferrovial Agroman US Corp and toured the LBJ Express construction project. “Part of our tour today was to bring the girls and give them exposure of a project in heavy high-way industry,” said Adrienne.
The girls listened to other women engineers and they spoke about their educational background and career choices in the transportation field. "They don’t have to feel intimidated because it has usually been a man’s ‘world,’ said Ferrovial Technical Office Manager, Clara Balboa. "If more women decided to be in this field then there would be more women...I think it was a good idea to bring them here (to Ferrovial) and other places. They need to be exposed to a variety of professional scenarios in order to be able to decide which is the best for them.”
LBJ Express gave the Transportation YOU participants an opportunity to see the design and plans from inception to fruition. ”The girls were really impressed with the traffic management center that house over 300 TV monitors from camara activity placed strategically throughout the DFW metroplex. One of the students stated that "it was fascinating and scary at the same time because someone is always watching." Another girl said, “not only do they monitor the progress of the projects but they manage the safety of everyone using the highway.” Sammie admits that she didn’t really pay attention to the roads where the LBJ Express construction project is taking place prior to this visit but now she has a new perspective. “You get to see all the work going into it: the processes and efforts…and it’s spectacular.”
Amy Phan attends Irma P. Rengal school and participates in the Transportation YOU program. Amy described the professional women that she met today were “trailblazers" in her mind. "WTS has opened this doorway for me through Transportation YOU to be more grateful for all the things going on around me like the roads and all the effort it takes to build them. They’ve shown me that you don’t have to be scared when it comes to doing something that you’re passionate about…even if it’s an 'all male' job. Amy was recently awarded an all expense paid trip to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. where she will participate in WTS mentorship activities during the summer.
I learned that despite some improvements, there is a lack of leadership within the high level positions within transportation. “Our goal is to not only bring more women into the WTS organization but to advance those women,” said DFW Chapter President, Nikki Simon who is focused on providing opportunities for Transportation YOU participants. “I hope to introduce these girls to the industry and expose them to the mini facets of the industry in hopes of getting them to consider it as a career choice.” When Nikki is not mentoring the girls she is busy running her business as the President of Simon Engineering and Consulting.
For more information about Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) and to get involved with the Transportation YOU program, watch the video below and visit http://www.wtsinternational.org/greaterdallas/