By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

Women tend to steer from transportation construction careers due to a misalignment of industry goals and a lack of female role models or mentors, Mineta Transportation Institute researchers say in a new report. Their study focuses on how to attract, promote, and retain more women in the industry.

ARTBA, its member companies and allies are working on these same goals, including through a partnership with the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International, which has more than 6,500 members in 79 chapters worldwide.

The Mineta report notes successful practices to attract women to the industry include:

  • connecting with young people;
  • networking;
  • encouraging professional organization participation, especially at leadership positions;
  • education, access to jobs, retention strategies within the organization;
  • opportunities to advance to leadership positions;
  • ensuring gender-balanced interview panels for all new hiring;
  • recruitment materials that establish specific targets and provide guidance to reach those targets;
  • regular monitoring that benefits a succession plan to leadership;
  • an inviting harassment-free culture with implemented policies that allow for taking earned time off; and
  • mentorship with opportunities to build confidence and skills.

Many of these efforts are set out in the ARTBA-WTS agreement.

Dr. Robert Bertini, director of the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida (USF), and Jodi Godfrey, a research associate at the USF Center, authored the report.

The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University is a member of ARTBA’s Research & Education Division, and an active member in the ARTBA-run Council of University Transportation Centers.