August 4, 2015—On July 28, Nathan’s CEO, Susan Chodakewitz, moderated an expert panel at the White House on the progress of women in the transport sectors of APEC members. Louise Williams, a principal associate of the firm, presented the data framework for measuring that progress.
Expert Panel at the White House (left to right): Susan Chodakewitz, President and CEO of Nathan Associates; Karla Gonzalez Carvajal, World Bank Transport ICT Practice Manager for South Asia; Ellen Voie, President and CEO of Women in Trucking; Susan Kurland, DOT Assistant Secretary for Aviation and Int’l Affairs; Stephanie Ivey, Associate Professor, University of Memphis; Andrella Kenner, founder and President of CI2 Aviation; Leda Chong, Sr. Vice President, Strategic Planning, Gulfstream; Ann Shikany, DOT Lead, APEC WiT; Melissa Gesser, Director, Product Support, Gulfstream.
Hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the White House Council on Women and Girls, the forum clarified the business case for compiling data on women as employees, consumers, suppliers, and students in the transport industry. Approximately 60 representatives from various transport modes—trucking, aviation, engineering, taxi, and shipping—attended. They commented on the data framework, which benchmarks conditions for women in the sector, and described what their companies are doing to support women as employees, leaders, and customers.
Companies are eager to share such data, partly in response to consumer demand for evidence of diversity and partly to understand industry dynamics. New companies like Uber and Lyft, for example, have more female drivers (30 percent) than the traditional taxi industry (7 percent) because the technology-based model offers employees more flexibility. And Uber’s survey of female customers found that women prefer Uber over traditional taxis for reasons of safety and accountability.
The data framework was developed by USAID’s US-APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration—or US-ATAARI—a project managed by Nathan Associates. In 2012 APEC launched its Women in Transportation (WiT) initiative. To support WiT, Nathan developed the data framework and has gathered information on best practices on including women in the industry.
Thursday’s forum was also attended by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, and Tina Tchen, Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff for the First Lady.
The data framework will be presented for endorsement at the APEC Transportation Ministerial in October 2015.