If you’ve ever looked at the underside of a bridge you likely noticed the intricate design of beams, known in our industry as girders. Girders come in all shapes and sizes and are often used in geometric patterns like triangles or squares.  Regardless of how they are put together, the main purpose of the girder is to support the bridge and provide a safe connection for the people and vehicles that use it.

Similarly, WTS Metropolitan Phoenix is an important girder to support women in the transportation industry here in Arizona and provide them with career-enhancing connections.

There are nearly 3,000 bridges in the greater Phoenix area that create the backbone of the Valley’s transportation network.  And we need this network.  Today, we travel more than ever before. We walk, bike, drive, and take buses, trains, light rail and planes to connect ourselves to our work, school, home, shopping, medical care, entertainment and more.

At each layer of our multi-faceted transportation system, you will find hard-working women united behind the goal of making transportation easier and more efficient for everyone.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 60 million women are part of the American labor force today.  However, women make up only 8% of engineers, 18% of engineering technicians and 30% of natural scientists.

It’s time to bridge that gap. The WTS organization supports women in the transportation industry by providing them access to education, encouragement and connections to learn, grow and succeed in their careers.

WTS stands for Women’s Transportation Seminar, which was how it was named when the organization was founded in 1977 when women struggled to get sponsorship for association memberships unless they were educational. More than 40 years later, this opportunity is now available to thousands of women and men around the world.

The WTS Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter launched in 1985 with the goal of creating an environment that encourages the advancement of women in the transportation industry here in Arizona.  Today we have more than 230 active members and the support of key transportation leaders across the Valley.

The cornerstone of our success is the involvement of our members and their commitment to the many programs our chapter offers.

  • Networking: WTS Metropolitan Phoenix offers monthly luncheon programs to allow members to make connections as well as learn about trends and issues in the industry. Additionally, members are invited to quarterly meet-and-greet events with local legislative and industry leaders to meet and interact with those who are shaping the industry and its future.
  • Mentorship: By partnering seasoned professionals with those who are new to the industry, the WTS Mentorship program helps to create long-term professional relationships that help shape and promote career growth.
  • Professional Development: WTS promotes career advancement for women through mid-career and executive level leadership programs.
  • Scholarships: WTS offers annual scholarships to encourage young women to further their education in transportation-related fields. These scholarships are supported by fundraisers throughout the year.
  • Recognition: Every year we come together to recognize the women who are leading the way in our industry and their contributions to the projects and programs that affect the communities we live in.
  • Youth Education: The WTS Metropolitan Phoenix Transportation YOU team provides a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young girls ages 13-18 an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers.

Through these activities, WTS is proud to continue to add girders to the bridge that will carry women to lifelong, successful careers in the transportation industry.  We invite you to learn more about our organization and our chapter, and join us for an upcoming event at: http://www.wtsinternational.org/metropolitanphoenix/

Posted by Danny Imes