Attendance at WTS International’s annual conference for women in transportation, which took place increased by 25 percent over last year.
The 2013 conference, which took place May 15-17 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, broke several other other records: 40 percent of attendees were first-time participants, 30 percent more companies participated compared to last year and at least 20 of the more than 50 sponsors were new.
WTS International President and CEO Marcia Ferranto attributes the rise in attendance to the organization’s efforts to “attract, retain, and advance women” and “provide programs that focus on workforce development through the advancement of women.”
Ferranto added that workforce development, which strives to move women to senior positions within the industry, is also a driving force within WTS International.
She pointed to Transportation YOU as a top workforce development program. The USDOT-backed program provides hands-on challenges, informational sessions and mentorship programs run by individual WTS chapters.
“We need to generate awareness about this industry with young women and get them excited about the possibilities so they consider STEM studies (science, technology, engineering, and math)—now. There also needs to be an environment in the workplace that is considerate of the needs to working women that provides for career continuity,” Ferranto said.