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.