Transport for West Midlands marked International Women’s Day by leading inspirational keynotes at the inaugural meeting of a new networking group aimed at supporting local women who are employed in traditionally male-dominated industries, such as the transport and construction sectors.
Laura Shoaf, Managing Director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Anne Shaw, TfWM Director of Network Resilience, joined Rachel Skinner, WSP UK Head of Transport and Vice President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, to share their success stories with local professionals attending the launch of the West Midlands Women’s Alliance’s networking group.
The event, which was also organised to mark International Women’s Day and its 2020 theme #EachForEqual, took place at the Birmingham headquarters of WSP in the iconic Mailbox building and saw over 100 city centre professionals in attendance.
Laura, who studied urban planning in the United States before moving to the UK, heads up the West Midlands Combined Authority’s transport arm, TfWM, having progressed to this top transportation job following successes in a number of strategic planning roles across the West Midlands.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Laura said:“Events like this are so important in highlighting the vital impact, and successes, women can add to industries which for decades have been seen as being less diverse. Improving opportunities for women, as well as people from other varied backgrounds, can only add to our already considerable achievements here in the West Midlands.”
Anne, added: “Currently only around one in five transport professionals are women and it’s crucial that the next-generation help address this balance for the benefit of our profession and region. Laura and I have been delighted to share our personal anecdotes with the truly diverse audience at the Mailbox today.”
The West Midlands Women’s Alliance has been formed to aid the development and progression of women and membership currently includes: Women in Rail West Midlands, Women in Transport, Women into Construction, CECA Midlands, the Institution of Civil Engineers, CITB, Midland Metro Alliance, Morgan Sindall, Volker Fitzpatrick, HS2 and WISE.