2009: The Year of the Woman in Transportation
My contribution to the current National Journal’s “insider panel”, whose goal it is to provide expert counsel to orient and guide the incoming Obama administration on matters involving policy and investments in the transportation sector for the years immediately ahead, is now on line. You can find the full text at http://transportation.nationaljournal.com/2008/12/how-should-infrastructure-stimulus-be-spent.php#1201951.
I might mention one point the article make. Specifically my proposition that what is needed to create an altogether different perspective on these matters is not just to bring a couple of females on board, but to create a very strong plurality.
It’s rather like cycling in cities I would say. If there are no cyclists out there, no one sees a problem. If there are a few, it really changes little if anything. But when the cyclists start hit the street in real numbers, when they begin to populate the environment, things then have an entirely different momentum. And so, I believe, is the case with the impact of women in these largely male-culture fora. Once we get beyond that tipping point – what is it, 50%, 40, 30 ?? -- we find a very different situation as emerged. And so I hope it will be.
But there is an anomaly there, one that you can if you wish help us with. In my piece I claim that as a first step this panel should immediately set out to create a far more balanced gender composition than that which they have at present, which is very male top heavy.
However as I look at the composition of most of our new mobility fora what strikes me immediately is that we are hardly better. We are female-lite here, and the only way I can think of to rectify this imbalance will be to ask each person here to reach out to find a female colleague, policy maker, activist or concerned citizen whom we can then invite to join us and get on the side of new mobility for all. I am sure it will make a big difference.
Thanks for helping out on this. You’ll see. It will be worth it.
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