Hear from Karen Kiselewski, Principal and resilience and sustainability expert of over 20 years, on serving on CS' DEI Council and how the council is advancing gender equity at CS.
Karen is experienced in transportation and community resilience; multi-modal transportation planning; policy and program development and evaluation; integrating transportation planning and land use, economic, and other systems planning; and coordination, facilitation and public engagement. She has performed corridor and area-wide studies for state Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and county and local agencies.
Often as the only woman in the room, I learned from personal experience that including diverse voices helps create better solutions.
I share the belief with Cambridge Systematics (CS) that including a wide range of perspectives in projects is essential when improving transportation systems. Committed to approaching all of my work with an equity lens, I served on CS' DEI Council to support the firm's DEI initiatives. The DEI Council works bottom-up to create a more diverse and inclusive environment and top-down by coordinating with leadership on initiatives that ensure we are as inclusive and representative as the diverse communities we serve.
The DEI Council was formed to help guide the development of a DEI strategic plan and culture charter. CS’ DEI Strategic Plan has four pillars, and I was part of the subcommittee for Providing Staff with the Necessary Resources and Equitable Opportunities to Thrive. This pillar addresses foundational actions to ensure all staff can achieve their visions for success.
As we develop and update action items for our pillars, we’re looking at different dimensions of equity, like gender.
Women represent only 15% of the transportation workforce and even less at the CEO and C-suite level.
What we’re doing to advance gender equity in the transportation workforce
Some of the ways we’re advancing gender equity at CS include signing the Mobility XX pledge, a commitment to help increase the number of women in the transportation workforce by 10% in 10 years. In addition, we encourage our staff, to the extent they desire, to be their authentic selves at work, such as by providing pronouns visible in our email signatures and the CS website.
Through our internal dashboard of DEI-focused metrics, CS is also tracking our progress and holding ourselves accountable. In 2021, 42% of our staff identified as women, however, only 37% (all white) held a senior leadership role.
We understand there’s much more work to do to advance equity at CS. And we are committed to fostering a more inclusive culture and more positive work environment for our staff, drawing and encouraging a more diverse workforce, and helping better meet the needs of the diverse communities we serve and that are represented by our clients.