Building The Workforce Of The Future

Despite strides made to recruit and advance women in Transportation and greater awareness of initiatives for DEI, women still comprise only 25% of the Transportation workforce (Bureau of Transportation Statistics; bts.gov).

In partnership with ACEC, WTS, and other organizations, including BART, Girls Inc., and SFCTA, Parsons has been organizing, sponsoring, and participating in programs encouraging girls to consider Transportation and Engineering as an educational and career path.

Diversity and innovation are two of our core values, and by actively supporting and promoting women in STEM, we not only contribute to bridging the gender gap but also tap into a broader talent pool, bringing diverse perspectives and ideas that enhance our problem-solving capabilities.

Empowering girls to explore STEM fields from an early age not only opens doors for future career opportunities but also builds a more inclusive and dynamic workforce, ultimately driving success and sustainability in our projects and communities.

These ongoing events below are designed to inspire young adults to actively engage in STEM initiatives, fostering skill development and imparting invaluable insights into the engineering sector.

Fall Girls In Motion Summit

In Fall 2023, ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, and Girls Inc of Alameda County partnered to hold an inaugural Girls Summit at BART Headquarters. Over 40 girls from local high schools and 40 volunteers from corporate sponsors and BART participated in the program, learning about opportunities in the Transportation Industry, hearing from professionals and executives about how they got involved in Transportation, and applying basic engineering concepts to build bridges with popsicle sticks and glue.

Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day

ACEC Bay Bridge, East Bay Chapters, and LEEDS Bay Area joined forces to organize school visits on February 22, 2024, for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. 30 volunteers visited 13 middle and high schools, primarily in the East Bay and San Francisco, reaching over 200 girls. Students got to hear about the different types of engineering and potential career tracks, as well as building rollercoasters made of paper.

Spring Girls In Motion Summit

ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter and WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter held their second Girls Summit in Spring 2024, hosted by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The team reached out to SFUSD and private schools in San Francisco. We had over 50 girls attend this event. The program was similar to the fall summit, with professionals and executives sharing their experiences and insights working in the transportation industry and providing hands-on activities to further spark inspiration and basic engineering skills. This summit also included a Youth Panel featuring early career professionals.

About The Author

Michele DiFrancia is a Vice President with Parsons where she leads business development in Northern California, including roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, rail and transit. Over her career, she has managed transit projects and multimodal transportation studies, and served as program manager on the $6.4B New East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for 8 years. Michele is a Certified Planner and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and a BA in Sociology, both from UCLA. She currently serves as President of ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, and served as a Past President of WTS-San Francisco Chapter and on the TRB Committee on Metropolitan Transportation Policy and Planning for 10 years. She is passionate about making our communities more livable and sustainable through infrastructure investments, particularly in transit and Transit Oriented Development. In her spare time, she enjoys being in the outdoors with her nine-year-old twins.

Be the first to receive updates about Parsons news, events, and innovations. Subscribe Today!

Back to top
facebook-pixel linkedin-pixel linkedin pixel focused image