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Restrooms, Promotions and “Women in the Workplace 2021”

By Marcia Shapiro

Just as I never thought I would be running a company with 36 employees, I never thought I would see a woman heading up subway maintenance for MTA – yes, friends, the times they are a-changin’.

I reminisced about a moment that has stuck with me – and one that hit a nerve with my LinkedIn community. In the post reacting to the appointment of Siu Ling Ko as MTA’s first female head of subway car maintenance, I recounted a time in 1998 while conducting asset management workshops at the Jamaica Car Shop that the only bathroom offered at our end of the huge shop was a converted closet with a urinal!

The post hit a nerve – 4000 views and almost 100 likes. I never imagined it would be so ‘viral’, just as I could not have imagined the appointment of a woman as Chief Mechanical Officer in an environment so devoid of women other than car cleaners and the CMO’s secretary.

It got me thinking about the changes we have experienced in the past 23 years. When it comes to technological advances, we have gone from the establishment of Google as a portal to the Web in 1998 to a world where cell phones are ubiquitous, artificial intelligence is being introduced into everyday items and billionaires are taking passengers into space. Unfortunately, the advancement of women in the workplace has moved at a snail’s pace in comparison.

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Last December, Debbie Addison joined the Marine Tiger team, bringing more than 15 years of experience in capital project management and resiliency planning. She currently serves as the Project Manager for NJ TRANSIT’s Facilities Inspection and Condition Assessment Program, with responsibility for facilities inspection coordination, monitoring project progress, providing quality assurance for contractor deliverables and coordinating safety training. Prior to joining Marine Tiger, Debbie was the Director of Project Management and Planning for Battery Park City Authority where she led planning and design management for long term resiliency and flood mitigation projects. 


Marine Tiger Technologies (MTT) has assisted the MBTA with their overall EAM Program planning, reporting and implementation since 2017, starting with the development of the federally required Transit Asset Management Plan (TAMP).  Our team has provided technical support for the replacement of its legacy asset information system with Trapeze EAM, created the asset naming conventions and developed the asset class hierarchies, attribute lists, register and smart data entry forms.

MTT is currently engaged in EAM Project Management Office Support Services which includes the development of an asset information standard for the Green Line Extension Project contractor.  We are also supporting the development and roll-out of an updated Quality Management System (QMS).  The QMS will incorporate continuous improvement processes and provide consistent visibility into infrastructure and rolling stock asset conditions using standardized operating procedures. Upcoming tasks include TAMP updates focused on documenting and reporting known asset risks.  Additionally, MTT will be supporting the identification of the capital program catalog and developing capital program management and prioritization processes. 

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