I wonder if I am the only person in the world who gets upset at this:
I am from time to time approached by groups and publications with in-progress lists identifying whom they see as the most influential people who are through their work and efforts shaping the sustainable transportation agenda, which they then ask me to comment, add to, etc. Now what is to me most striking about these lists is that on almost all occasions they invariably consist not only of outstanding people, but almost entirely of names of males. (Many of whom, by the way, I know and admire sincerely their outstanding contributions. But that’s not my point.)
I would like to help them to rectify this imbalance and I do, as you might imagine, have my own short list of outstanding female leaders . But it occurred to me that any suggestions would be far more powerful and complete if they came not just from one source but from a wide range of people working at the leading edge of our sector world-wide.
To my mind, such lists blatantly suggest that women leaders are implicitly either . . . without sufficient merit to qualify for this kind of high distinction, forgotten altogether or acknowledged at best as serving in limited support roles, water bearers if you will for the valiant male warriors.
So faced with this, I decided earlier today to fire off a broadside to a long list of talented women with whom I have worked with over the past years or otherwise been in contact on this subject, to ask them for their views and nominations for women who belong on this list of world leaders and doers. (And yes, I also contacted a number others as well who I know share my thoughts on this.) I am confident that from this process we are going to see some very strong, very competitive nominations coming from this group.
And now may I to ask you to do the same? If you could make your recommendations to us as you chose in public or in private here via email@example.com — what I can do is collect them, work them up in draft form, share them with our informal working group, post an interim version on World Streets, and then see what the world thinks of that.
And of course if you would have the time and temper to work with us on this, it would be great to hear from you.
I can’t wait. Knock their socks off.
Eric Britton (male)
PS. And if you wish to know where World Streets stands on this issue, consistently and steadfastly from the first day we went to press, check us out at http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/users/women/