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Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director

I was proud to be on a panel today at the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Chicago Chapter’s Women in Leadership luncheon.  I shared the panel with three successful women who gave insight into their careers and what they’ve learned along the way.  I was flattered to be included with the likes of Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Center for Neighborhood Technology; Sylvia Garcia, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA); and Erin Aleman, Bureau Chief of Communications, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

We all shared a bit about our individual paths to our current roles. Some of us started out in science, others in art, and still others with an affinity to math.  CTA’s Sylvia Garcia quoted a mentor telling her, “You can want to do all the great things in the world, but you’ve got to have money to fund it.”  We can all agree on that; funding is very much a fact of life in our work.

Most of all, we all talked about the importance of women in the workplace not being afraid of making mistakes, speaking up and offering good ideas.  If you have a question about something, it’s very likely someone else does too.  In essence, take chances, and there’s a good chance you’ll have bit of luck along the way.

Thanks so much to WTS for putting this event together.  WTS is an international organization dedicated to building the future of transportation through the advancement of women. Learn more by visiting

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