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U.S. DOT Celebrates Women's History Month

U.S. DOT Celebrates Women's History Month

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao lauded the many achievements of U.S. women in transportation during Celebrating Women in Transportation: Land, Air and Sea, a Women’s History Month (WHM) program at DOT headquarters.  The Department partnered with the Virginia Tech Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) student chapter and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to produce the event.

“The Department is committed to helping build the next generation of women leaders in transportation,” said Secretary Chao. In 2015, 1/3 of women had a B.A. or higher, compared with only eight percent of women holding B.A. degrees in 1967, And, across DOT, the Secretary noted, 160 women occupy executive positions.

In addition to Secretary Chao’s remarks, the event featured a panel of women senior leaders from the Department who shared how their career journey and lessons learned along the way, how US DOT evolved over the years and what the next generation can do to advance at US DOT and in the world.

Moderated by Anne Audet, Deputy Director with the Departmental Office of Human Resource Management Office of the Secretary, the leadership Panel included Federal Transit Administration Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Heidi King, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux, Federal Highway Administration Acting Administrator Brandye Hendrickson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Drue Pearce, and DOT Chief Information Officer Vicki Hildebrand.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to empowering women to succeed.  Currently, there are 160 female executives throughout the Department and its modes.  In addition, during fiscal year 2016, DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program helped ensure that women-owned small businesses won a share of contracts awarded to firms working with recipients of Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration funds.  These small businesses won 64 percent of these indirect contracts, for a total amount of more than $2.7 billion dollars.

Woman are integral to today’s workforce. Consider these statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Almost 47% of U.S. workers are women, totaling 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force.
  • More than 39% of women work in occupations where women make up at least three-quarters of the workforce.
  • Women own close to 10 million businesses, accounting for $1.4 trillion in receipts.
  • Female veterans tend to continue their service in the labor force. About 3 out of 10 serve their country as government workers.

Secretary Chao addresses attendess at women in history event

U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao addresses attendees. during Celebrating Women in Transportation: Land, Air and Sea, a Women’s History Month (WHM) program at DOT headquarters on March 13 (photo, courtesy of OST photography)

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