At Community Transit, we are proud to employ 217 women serving all aspects of Community Transit from our Maintenance, Transportation, and Administrative roles. We have come a long way since being founded in the 1970s, and we acknowledge that there is more work to be done to encourage women to consider a long and prosperous career in transit.
Continuing to honor Women’s History Month, four women from Community Transit sat down and gave advice to women starting their careers in transit, discussed challenges women face in the Transit industry and what Women’s History Month means to them.
Lisa, one of Community Transit’s coach operators, joined Community Transit six years ago and has been driving for over 30 years. An immigrant from Belize, Lisa says her advice for women starting their careers is, “Keep your head up and go for it. If you are interested in it, do it. Keep on reaching. If you fall - stand up and get back on it.”
Rachel, another one of the agency’s coach operators, began working at the agency in 2019 and says driving is in her blood. She loves having the rolling office with some of the best views in the county. We asked Rachel what advice she would give other women starting a career in transit, and she said, “I would say just be yourself and enjoy the job. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn your craft and embrace it. I get to see so many things, beautiful scenery, and so many different people. I feel like I get to travel every day.”
Michelle, the parts journey lead, has had many firsts at the agency, including being the first woman in the parts division and the first woman holding the title Lead Parts Journeyman. When asked what challenges women face in the workforce, Michelle said, “Being told they are too sensitive or emotional. I’m a caring person; my emotions help develop empathy through my ability to connect with people. Those same emotions that might be too much for some people are the very things I use through service to benefit others.”
Danielle, marketing campaign manager, began working at Community Transit in 2020 after moving back to the mainland from Maui, HI. When asked what challenges women face in the transportation industry, Danielle said, “I think women today, regardless of which industry they work for, are more unafraid to pursue their dreams and reach their potential. And when choosing to invest in an employer, they look at the whole package - pay, benefits, long-term career opportunities, work culture, and other non-monetary added value like flexible work arrangements and childcare assistance. Women want to feel more empowered and supported instead of limited.”
Lisa, Michelle, Rachel, and Danielle shared a common theme when describing what Women’s History Month means to them. They said Women’s History Month is a time to pause and honor, to celebrate and continue trailblazing for future generations of women, just like the women who came before them have done. It is also a time to remind each other of the challenges that women are facing and how men and women can support and uplift women around them every day.