Back Row: L-R Allison Noback, RTA; Leanne Redden, RTA; Janice R. Thomas, Metra; Cruz Bernal-Albano, Globetrotters Engineering; Front Row: Patricia Thomas-Miller, CTA; Bea Reyna-Hickey, RTA; Harvind Kaur Singh, SINGH and Associates.
I was proud to moderate a panel this morning titled “Women in Transit” here at our RTA offices. We co-hosted this Women’s History Month event with the Chicago chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). We were proud to invite students from three Chicago Public Schools: Curie Metropolitan High School; John Hancock College Preparatory High School; and North-Grand High School. The conversation was robust and entertaining. Our panelists ran the gamut from a PK (Preacher’s Kid) from the South to first generation Americans. We heard from women who are the first in their families to go to college to those who went to work for their fathers–and still didn’t get more than 4 weeks of maternity leave! We heard from single mothers and from the happily married; from women from farm towns to those who grew up in Canada. Several came from cultures where speaking up was not encouraged. But, they all spoke up today! Thanks so much to all of you for participating and to the young women (and a few men) who came to hear their stories. A few of the golden nuggets shared by our esteemed (and very candid) panelists were:
- It’s ok to be nervous.
- Find a mentor.
- Be assertive but not aggressive.
- We all need supporters.
- Work hard and you can succeed!