For several years, PHL has collaborated with The Enterprise Center and the United States Department of Transportation Women & Girls Transportation Initiative (WITI) to host an inspiring event for high school and female college students. WITI’s mission is to increase the participation of women in the transportation industry and prepare young women to become future leaders by creating ladders of opportunity, small business economic competitiveness through careers, internships, strategic partnerships and education. The Enterprise Center increases the ability of small businesses to compete for and enter into transportation-related contracts at the local, state, and federal levels.
Due to COVID-19, this year's event was held virtually and sent to girls in 10th and 11th grades at West Catholic High School and the Philadelphia Military Academy.
Airport leadership remains an essential pillar of the WITI event and past keynote speakers have included PHL CEO Chellie Cameron.This year, Chief Administrative Officer Soledad Alfaro spoke about the challenges of being underestimated while working in a male-dominated field like the transportation industry.
“Know what your goal is and how you’re going to get there,” said Alfaro. “If you’re working towards something, keep going even if you fail, persistence is key.”
The event also included remarks by Dr. Charlene Glenn, a business professor at Pierce College, who emphasized young women to remain credible and professional in the workplace.
“Follow through and be consistent with your behavior because that’s what dictates your personal brand,” said Glenn. “If you ever leave a job, keep your emotions controlled, and thank them for the opportunity.
The virtual event ended with positive advice for the young teens.
“You have to have a winning spirit with goals, confidence, and self-esteem,” said Glenn. “You have to want to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and listening to positive affirmations.”