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Women Who Move the Nation Honored at COMTO Event
DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx invoked his young daughter in his remarks at COMTO’s fifth annual Women Who Move the Nation awards ceremony March 16.
“As the father of a young daughter with big dreams, I’m especially proud to be joining you here today as we honor 14 of the most outstanding leaders in our nation’s transportation sector,” he said to the standing-room-only crowd. “These women serve as an inspiration to a generation of young women who want to be engaged and involved in our nation’s transportation sector. And they are doing some truly transformative work—leading the charge to innovate and improve our transportation system across the board.”
Of the women honored, 10 are APTA members: APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall; past Chair Flora Castillo; BART General Manager Grace Crunican; Chicago RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden; Mineta Transit Research Consortium Executive Director Karen Philbrick; Feysan Lodde, founder, MV Transit; Margaret O’Meara, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff; Polly Hanson, chief of police, Amtrak; Kimberly Avery, Michigan DOT; and (posthumously) Mary King, AC Transit. Bryna Helfer, DOT director of public engagement to the secretary, was also among the honorees. Honorees are pictured below.
“We still have a lot to do,” Foxx noted, saying that women make up 20 percent of the transportation workforce. “We need to continue working to get more women involved in our nation’s transportation workforce,” he added. “Our transportation system is only living up to its full potential when it is built of, by and for the people that it serves.”
Foxx also stressed the importance of ensuring that women have a voice in transportation planning, design and operations. “When transportation is more inclusive of society, outputs are more reflective of society,” he said.
“Every layer we add [to increasing opportunity] adds another layer to the American dream,” he said.
The awards ceremony also included “fireside chats” with the honorees, including McCall.
“We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go,” she said.
“This program is fantastic. It shows what can be achieved with partnerships, mentorships and friendships to keep this industry moving forward,” McCall added.
|COMTO's Women Who Move the Nation|