Description

Transportation remains the largest source of U.S.-based carbon emissions, and reducing emissions from this source continues to challenge experts. Addressing challenging problems requires diverse modes of thinking—and at present the transportation workforce is not diverse in terms of gender, with women occupying only about 14% of the transportation workforce. This research developed and tested a school-based intervention that uses pro-environmental framing and exposure to women transportation role models to help attract more women to transportation careers. To investigate the efficacy of the intervention, the research team studied control and treatment groups of university students using pre- and post-surveys to measure changes in student understanding and interest in transportation fields and careers. Students in both groups were enrolled in a climate change course, and students in the treatment group completed an additional transportation learning module designed to stimulate interest in transportation careers. The results showed that by the end of the semester, student awareness that the transportation industry can provide green and sustainable careers increased by 39.7% in the treatment group compared to no change in the control group. In addition, student openness to working in a transportation related career increased by 17.5% for females in the treatment group compared to no change in the male treatment group and no change in the control group. Given the success of this intervention, similar educational modules at various educational levels could increase the number of women working in transportation. Should such approaches be successful, society will be better prepared to respond to environmental challenges like climate change.

Publication Date

11-2021

Publication Type

Report

Topic

Transportation Workforce and Labor

Digital Object Identifier

10.31979/mti.2021.2028

MTI Project

2028

Keywords

Transportation Careers, Education and Training, Females, Climate Change, Environment

Disciplines

Transportation | Work, Economy and Organizations

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