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Women and Girls

Women are making a difference in transportation

When you talk to most people in the transportation industry, their career journey has often been filled with twists and turns and unexpected opportunities. Few students have a clear understanding of how their imagined career paths might lead them to working in this vibrant, multimodal field.

But transportation is always evolving and growing, and the workforce the industry needs is rapidly changing as well. To keep pace, women are now working in once male-dominated career fields. Today, you'll see women filling positions such as skilled high speed rail engineers; technically savvy aviation experts; astute truck, rail, transit, and maritime operators; and quick-minded statisticians and business analysts.

To help improve women’s participation in transportation careers, the industry must do its best to link them to role models and opportunities; show them how their efforts can have a great impact on local and national communities; and create an adaptable workplace that’s fair, flexible, and collaborative for all employees...

Department of Transportation and Women's History Month

Cross-posted from

A couple of months ago, my nine-year-old daughter came into my office with a list of priorities, things she would do if she had my job as Secretary of Transportation. (Her first priority, by the way, was to move every seat on the plane into first-class.)

Besides being one of those moments that every father wants to have on videotape, it was also a small reminder of what we know at the U.S. Department of Transportation: that there are many young girls who dream of a job in transportation – of learning to fly, for instance, or of becoming an engineer who designs a magnificent bridge.

Supporting these dreams isn’t something we should just do as parents; it’s something we should do as a nation.

Photo collage of Amelia Earhart, Emily Roebling, Elizabeth Dole, and Mary Peters

Paving the Way for Women Mariners

One of the United States Maritime Administration’s top priorities is to recruit, empower and support women in the maritime industry.

We’ve established two different diversity committees at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to increase the number of female midshipmen and faculty members. It’s also why the Department of Transportation (DOT) has created the Women and Girls Program, which encourages women to pursue transportation careers.

Diversity strengthens the transportation workforce

At DOT, we understand that a strong transportation system depends on a vibrant and diverse workforce, a workforce that reflects America. And that includes women.

So, we've made it a priority to help encourage women to join the next generation of transportation professionals. We want women to be excited by the opportunities available to them in highways and transit, rail and aviation. And we need their skills, experience, and unique point of view to ensure we design the best and most efficient transportation systems possible.

One of our efforts to encourage women to pursue careers in transportation is our Women In Transportation video playlist on YouTube. Today, we added another entry, this one submitted by Cathy Gillen, and I encourage you to watch it and share.

Cleveland Indians honor women in transportation

Whether it's excelling as a transit mechanic or running a state DOT, the transportation industry has no shortage of evidence demonstrating that women have plenty of what it takes to succeed. In trucking, for example, we've seen this firsthand thanks to Ellen Voie and Women In Trucking, who have worked so hard to open the door for more and more women to enter the industry.

Last Sunday, the Cleveland Indians acknowledged this effort by celebrating women in all transportation careers, and I was honored to be at Progressive Field and watch Ellen throw out the first pitch.

Photo of front of Progressive Field in Cleveland with Indians logo