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Women & Girls Governing Council

WGGC was established in September 2017 to examine Metro policies, programs and services, as well as make recommendations to the CEO. With consideration of the unique obstacles faced by women and girls, the council looks to find opportunities to remove barriers to success and expand opportunities at, within and on Metro.

The goals of WGGC are:

  • To have a gender-balanced workforce;
  • To accelerate change because progress for women is progress for everyone; and
  • To not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of gender inequity, mobility and economic challenges.

The council is comprised of a diverse group of Metro employees representing every department—union and non-union, entry level to executive—that meets monthly to develop recommendations to the CEO to help advance and empower women and girls. This group of women and men work together for effective, innovative and collaborative change, examining Metro policies, programs and services through a gender lens. The council applies a gender lens in three focus areas: Metro as an employer, Metro as a service provider and Metro as a catalyst for economic development. It is the council's objective to reveal and identify challenges and barriers that women may face, and incorporate an intentional change approach to remove those obstacles and challenges.

2018-2019 WGGC Cohort


Returning to work after a career break is challenging, both in terms of finding a job or re-launching a career. The initiative is to provide an internship opportunity for returning mid-career professionals who had taken a career break due to responsibilities as a stay-at-home parent, caregiver of a family member or a military spouse.

New and Expecting Parent Resource and Lactation Rooms

Twenty-nine percent of Metro’s workforce is female, 73% are within child bearing years. The recommendation is to provide a more comprehensive resource guide that demonstrates Metro is committed to supporting staff with family responsibilities, as well as creating a welcoming environment for their return to work by providing lactation rooms at all locations in a manner that is compliant and accessible.

Metro Mentoring Pilot Program

It is important for women leaders to be confident in their skills and abilities. This confidence is vital to making tough decisions and performing other necessary leadership tasks. The goal is to empower women at Metro by connecting them with current leaders at Metro to build long-term relationships and obtain knowledge from those who have experience in the field of interest.

Women’s Career Fair

A Metro Women’s Career Fair would be an innovative way to recruit female talent and the first of its kind. The fair will provide career advancement workshops in resume writing, interview tips, salary negotiation and developing an elevator pitch.

Internal Certification Pilot Program

The focus of this pilot program is to support individuals looking for a promotion, as well as the ability to transition between departments for more career opportunities. This initiative will help to achieve Metro staffing being reflective of the diversity of the community we serve and to ensure that women have equal access to the opportunities provided by Metro.

Gender Data Across Metro Mobility Services

Collecting gender identity data for Metro’s mobility services would allow the agency to track travel patterns and customer choices across mobility services, which would provide insights for transportation planning that can enhance the customer experience for women and girls.

Prioritizing Transit Stop Lighting

The initiative recommends overlaying a women and girls lens on future grant requests in order to prioritize the completion of lighting improvements on remaining bus stops that have been identified as having high crime and poor lighting. In addition, the initiative recommends adding a lens on all new procurements of service to ensure adequate lighting standards at stops.

Gender Sensitive Operations with MicroTransit

Metro’s pilot Microtransit Program offers a unique opportunity to test gender-sensitive business approaches to improve conditions for women and girls with a new mobility service. Working within the parameters of the MicroTransit contract, the recommendation is to build upon existing tasks in the scope of work to improve the overall customer experience and better serve women and girls.

Designate Seating for Pregnant Women and Parents with Children

Transit options that present solutions to pregnant women traveling with small children, multiple packages, strollers and women’s chain-travel patterns, must be considered. The goal is to create & pilot on our rail system accommodations for women’s and families’ special needs by designating priority seating or dedicated space for pregnant women and parents with young children.

Small Business Workshop Series

Providing support to women-owned businesses via education on how to obtain SBE and DBE certifications, and hands-on support in applying for these certifications, are paramount to their ultimate success in the Metro contracting process. The initiative recommends that Metro implement a Small Business and Certification Workshop Series pilot program to provide information on how to do business with Metro, the benefits of achieving SBE and DBE certification and real-life success stories.

Women’s Business Summit

A one-day event that aims to support women-owned businesses and those interested in conducting business with Metro. The one-day event will include break-out sessions, information booths, workshops and panel discussions where attendees will have the opportunity to learn from successful women and learn how to navigate the vendor portal.

Many thanks to our WGGC 2 nd Cohort members for their hard work and contributions:

Josephine A. Luzarito, Deanna Esther N. Phillips, Audrey L. Bolden, Nareh Nazary, Monica Del Toro, Olga Arroyo, Bonnie Bradford, Julia Brown, Anita Clark, Susan Corral, Soraya Del Real, Diane Dominguez, Bonita Geyen, Mimi Htut, Juan Jimenez, Sonia Gomez, Mattie Jones, Vanessa Morado, Maral Minasian, Laura R. Gomez, Adrienne C. Molina, Rani N. Narula-Woods, Georgia C. Sheridan, Angie F. Godinez, Susana C. Cariasa-Ginsberg, Mary E. Morgan, William W. Ridder, Gabriela De Leon, Yolanda L. Ruffin, Leticia M. Solis, Parvaneh Ahmadi, Robin R. O’hara, Ann N. Arriola, Samira Baghdikian, Deneise Glover, Miriam S. Long, Lorena L. Ramirez, Theresa Valenzuela, Calvin Y. Wong, Pamela R. Bragg, Chere W. Craig, Brittany E. Gentle, Charlene Y. Nelson, Karen Parks, Karla C. Aleman, Tamika R. Batiste, Aretha D. Hewlett, Sandra U. Montero, Keniesha L. Robinson, Etna T. Granville, Cindy Amaral, Dessery M. Garcia, Adrianna Zavala, Sharlet C. Smith, Oneida Nunez

2017-2018 WGGC Cohort

Breaking Down Barriers for the Service Attendant Position

The recommendation requested that the Service Attendant job specifications, minimum qualifications, test and interview questions be reexamined and updated to remove any barriers that would prevent women from applying and qualifying for the position. Revision of job description, test questions and interview questions completed July 2018.

Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan

Recommendation was to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment in which all individuals realize their maximum potential, regardless of their differences. Endorsed developing a CEO Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, including: Employee D&I Pledge, Employee D&I Listening Sessions at every work site, develop a D&I working group and Develop a D&I Policy.

Promoting the Advancement of Women

This initiative publicized on the WGGC intranet the promotions of women at Metro on a weekly basis to recognize their achievement and personal growth. The recognition of the promotions also had a positive impact on other female employees, as they saw that Metro promotes from within and there are numerous career paths and opportunities for advancement.

Understanding How Women Travel

The focus was for Metro to gather and analyze data by gender and develop a Gender Action Plan. This was done by disaggregating the current data collected through various surveys and getting supplemental data on how women travel in LA County. This data helped Metro understand different mobility needs for men and women; when we disaggregate transportation data by gender, we see different patterns on how women move and use our system.

Girls’ Empowerment Summit

Hosted a one-day Girls Empowerment Summit that provided information to girls and exposed the students to various career pathways in the transportation industry.

Bringing “The Voice” to Metro with Blind Screening

Initiative was to reduce/prevent the incidence of implicit bias in the initial screening process and consider applications solely based on merit, thereby removing implicit gender bias at the first stage of the hiring process. Blind screening anonymizes anything not relevant to the stage of the selection process. This can include name, address, email and educational institution.

Crushing the 29% with an Employer Brand Strategy

Through innovative and creative messaging, we have positioned Metro to be the employer of choice. We have worked to transform the “job search” experience and create an information gateway on what it is like to work at Metro. Through our career webpage, we have created an experience for candidates that feels genuine and connects to candidates on an emotional level. Showcasing Metro’s vision and employee initiatives, we have developed a strong employer brand.

Reporting Matters – Sexual Harassment Prevention

Implemented an effective reporting, reviewing and responding process and are creating a new Bystander Program.

Building a Ladder – Women in Construction Management Support Services (CMSS)

Baseline and Monitor CMSS Utilization of Women. CMSS consultant teams are required to prepare a Work Force Analysis chart during the selection process. This chart allows Metro to baseline and track consultants’ utilization and promotion of women across various job classifications and levels of authority within their organizations.

Many thanks to our WGGC 1 st Cohort members for their hard work and contributions:

Anais Arrenquin, Shalonda A. Baldwin, Janayre R. Bertrand, Stephanie L. Blanco, Shameka L.. Bloxton, Nolan Borgman, Marisol I. Cabral, Denise Caceres, Michelle R. Cardenas, Monica M. Carney, Nicole Casalino, Carolina Coppolo, Karla Cooper, Alessandro L. Di Nuzzo, Renee M. Dixon-Turner, Linda B. Edwards, Antoinette M. Estrada, Marie Franco, Jane W. Gachucha, Susan F. Gray, Pamela M. Gutierrez-Blackwood, Tiffany L. Harris, Imelda Hernandez, Vanessa L. Hernandez, Nancy O. Hinojosa, Alice Hsu, Kortnie S. Jackson, Desarae Jones, Emertha N. Jones, Chandrani Kahanda, Stephanie Kaping, Meghna Khanna, Stephanie M. Leslie, Cinthya B. Lupian, Dina M. Madrigal-Arteaga, Mercedes H. Meneses, Mary L. Montez-Wong, Olivia Nelson-Richardson, Tham H. Nguyen, Anna I. Noyola, Sonja R. Owens, Haylie P. Patterson, Jess E. Reynolds, Maria Reynolds, April Richie, Cynthia K. Rivera, Lucila I. Robles De Garcia, Maritza Romero, Claudia P. Solano, Jesse F. Soto, Yvette V. Suarez, Evelin S. Torresvasquez, Lakisha C. Traylor, Janet E. Tubbs, Rosalind R. Tuckson, Nadine E. Triche-Williams, Mfon A. Udoh, Latoshia F. Woods

Past Events

APTA National Public Transportation Career Day - May 16, 2019

Hosted a group of high school students for a day of career shadowing.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day - April 25, 2019

WGGC Hosted Self-Defense Classes in Recognition of Denim Day - April 24, 2019

WGGC Hosted Self-Defense Classes in Recognition of Denim Day - April 24, 2019

Comprehensive training for Metro employees

Girls Empowerment Summit - March 29, 2019

WGGC Hosted Self-Defense Classes in Recognition of Denim Day - April 24, 2019

Career exposure event for nearly 200 high school students

Metro’s Girls Empowerment Summit is a half-day event highlighting opportunities in areas of the transportation industry where women are traditionally under-represented.

The summit will focus on encouraging girls to own their career and bring awareness to the numerous job and career opportunities available in the transportation industry. Participants will have the opportunity to see examples of successful female professionals in various careers in the transportation industry.

Girl Scouts - Career in Motion - October 27, 2018

Partner event with Girl Scouts to provide career exposure to 100 girls

APTA Career Day- Career Shadow - May 17, 2018

Hosted Girls Academic Leadership Academy for a day of career shadowing

Hosted 25 girls from the Girls Academic Leadership Academy to shadow 25 Metro employees.  Invited twenty-five 9th and 10th grade students to learn about Metro and the careers available in the public transportation industry. The goal for the event was for each student to leave with an impression that a career in fields such as Operations, Construction, or Information Technology is possible. By equipping 9th and 10th grade students with knowledge about public transportation career opportunities, we establish the foundation for a career pathway within the industry.

Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day - April 26, 2018

In April, Metro opened their doors to the next generation of workers by taking part in Taking your Dauthers and Sons to Work Day. WGGC provided a valuable presentation to share some of the many careers that Metro has to offer. The presentation covered careers in Operations, Countywide Planning and Development, Construction, EEO & Office of Civil Rights and a broader discussion on Metro's Career Paths. Thanks to the staff that participated in bringing their children to work and exposing them to opportunities that encourages leadership, perseverance and teaches the importance of education to reach their career goal in the future.

Denim Day Self Defense Class at Gateway - April 25, 2018

Full day of training classes

In recognition of Denim Day, WGGC Co-Hosted a Self Defense Class in partnership with Alex Wiggins, Chief of the Safety, Security and Law Enforcement Department.  Provided a full day of classes with 75 participants.

DIY Girls Dream Big Event - November 28, 2017

Screening of Dream Big and panel discussion with female industry leaders

WGGC co-sponsored the screening of the film Dream Big for approximately 150 girls ranging from elementary to high school students.  The film shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways.  After the film there was a panel discussion to give students perspective from a diverse group of female industry leaders, including Jeanet Owens, Sr Executive Officer, and Therese McMillan, Chief Planning Officer.

Elba Higueros
Chief Policy Officer

Claudia Galicia
Senior Manager, Transportation Planning

Aaron Santos
Transportation Planner