Garver recognized as WTS Employer of the Year, outstanding organization for the advancement of professional women
March’s status as International Women’s Month comes to fulfillment in diverse ways, one of which is female leadership in the workplace. WTS, an international organization originally named Women’s Transportation Seminar is dedicated to the advancement of women’s careers in the transportation industry. The group’s Oklahoma chapter recently named Garver as Employer of the Year in recognition of the company’s outstanding contributions and support of women and minorities.
“We’re proud supporters of WTS Oklahoma because we know the importance of women in transportation careers,” said Garver Oklahoma Planning and Environmental Team Leader Kirsten McCullough, AICP, RPA. “We take pride in recruiting and developing women students to pursue careers in this industry, and we’re honored to be recognized by an organization that also champions that mission. WTS is so much more than a seminar. It is a way to meet others, talk about what is relevant to transportation and work through related challenges in ways that effect change.”
McCullough holds nearly 25 years of field-specific experience. She studied anthropology at the University of British Columbia before completing her master’s degree in the field at the University of New Mexico. She is a registered professional archaeologist and holds a certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners. Her role helps agencies meet developmental and environmental requirements to avoid or minimize impact.
“When I was ready to make a career move, I knew I wanted to go back to more of a team environment,” she said. “I felt aligned with the work ethic and approach to work the professionals at Garver had. Affiliation with WTS underscores the progress we are continually making as a company and as a community of career-focused leaders. WTS is intentional about encouraging all professionals in transportation, not just engineers, but people like me from other areas of expertise with transportation being the common theme.”
Garver has been a platinum sponsor of WTS since 2016, with support for its programs and scholarships, mentorship and continuing education opportunities. Commitment to those values has translated to Garver’s corporate culture. Its Connect program, for example, started with the goal of supporting new female employees but morphed into a program open to all employees.
In addition to furthering the promotion of women in its corporate culture, Garver has also dedicated resources to broadening the talent pipeline by participating in community STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] initiatives for girls in school, as well offering related scholarships and real-world experience through Garver Launch, an internship program.
“As with so many STEM careers, the presence of women is commonplace now. We are proud to be a recognized industry leader with women at every level of the corporate ladder,” said McCullough. “Even in our senior leadership, we are starting to see more women move into roles.”
Other transportation organizations are encouraged to find out about WTS membership.