Today (March 8, 2022) is International Women’s Day! Please join us through today’s blog post to learn more about the event and its significance. We’ll also share more updates later this month to celebrate Women’s History Month throughout the month of March!
In March of 1908, a women-led labor movement in New York laid the framework for Women’s History Month. Around 15,000 women marched for shorter work hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labor. A slogan of “bread and roses” emerged, with bread symbolizing economic security and roses representing better living standards (source: Yes! Media article originally published in 2013). This movement quickly grabbed the attention of women all around the world and in 1911 the first International Women’s Day was celebrated after the idea was proposed at an International Women’s Conference in Denmark a year prior.
Since then, Women’s History Month, celebrated every March, strives to recognize the accomplishments of all women – including countless amazing women who have worked to Break the Bias throughout history. You can read more about women who have had major impacts on transportation in the sea, on land, and in the air in our previous blog post from March 2018.
At the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), we believe transportation should be accessible to and meet the needs of all people, in a safe and equitable way.
You can read more about our vision, mission, values, and goals at our SDOT “About Us” web page. These core values and goals have led to programs such as SDOT’s Women and Minority owned Business (WMBE) Program which works with women and minority business owners on how to advance and grow their businesses through working with SDOT. The WMBE program also helps to generate economic vitality for more people in the city of Seattle by offering development, support, and targeted outreach to WMBE firms.
We also believe that it is important to provide platforms that amplify women’s voices, and have worked to do just this through our Women in Motion (WiM) employee resource group at SDOT.
Women in Motion’s mission is to provide an inclusive and supportive setting to engage with one another and discuss topics that center the perspectives, voices, and interests of women in the workplace. SDOT’s WiM resource group is a voluntary, employee-led cohort that organizes meeting and events open to all employees.
Once again, in honor of International Women’s Day, please join us as we celebrate women around the globe who are currently making history by paving the pathway in the transportation realm to create more equitable, sustainable, and safe spaces in their countries!
Sarika Panda Bhatt, Gurugram, India
Sarika Panda Bhatt is the co-founder of Raahgiri Day, India’s first car-free day campaign that was initiated in 2013. Raahgiri Day aims to promote safe walking and cycling in cities, and advocates Gurugram’s government to provide a stronger cycling infrastructure – with the help of Sarika. Sarika is also the Head of Integrated Transport and Road Safety with WRI India, a research and consult group for sustainable change. Gurugram is located in the northern Indian state of Haryana. (Source: BYCS)
Esenam Nyador, Ghana, Africa
Esenam Nyador is the founder of Miss Taxi and one of the few female taxi drivers in traditionally male industry in Ghana. After trying to join unions and continuously being rejected, Esenam decided to create her own service called Miss Taxi and has since built a solid cliental with the aim to encourage other women to work in the transportation realm. (Source: Vanguard Media Ltd – Nigeria)
Gisela Méndez, Colima, Mexico
Gisela Méndez served as a Colima’s Secretary of Mobility and is the first woman in Mexico to have held that position. During her time as Secretary, she created and enacted the National Association of Mobility Authorities and the first Sustainable Mobility Law for the State; providing the foundation to one multimodal transportation system for all cities in Colima, a state in Mexico located on the central Pacific coast. Since then, Gisela has published a guide for Mexico on safe mobility and is the CEO and founder of Ensamble Urbano (Urban Ensemble), an agency that promotes sustainable urban development. (Source: Transport Week)
Larissa Zeichhardt, Berlin, Germany
Larissa Ziechhardt is an engineer and CEO of a family-owned mobility company, LAT Gruppe (LAT Group) that provides services and products for railroad infrastructure and public transport. She is also an active member of a Women in Motion (WiM) professional organization in Germany and the Woman’s Railway Association, calling for sustainable transportation expansion. She also frequently gives speeches at international summits. (Source: Hub Berlin)
Skye Duncan, New York, United States
Skye Duncan worked as an urban designer for New York City for several years, focusing on the importance of street use and public space. She currently works at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) as the director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative. Skye has worked on developing a Global Street Design Guide to promote mobility as well as safe street design in numerous countries. (Source: Global Designing Cities)
The five women highlighted above are just a few examples of the many, many women who have made major contributions and positive impacts on their communities, continuing to create pathways today for the transportation future of tomorrow.
Please stay tuned as we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month throughout March, and plan to share more stories of our SDOT employees, including what their roles and varied experiences mean to each of them!
Article Source: News from City of Seattle