Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day of appreciation and equality that sparks justice and hope in women all over the world. It is a day of reflection but also a sign of progress, calling for the celebrations of acts of courage and honoring achievements of women globally.
The United Nations 2019 theme for Women’s Day, “think equal, build smart, and innovate for change” focuses on empowerment of women and encouraging innovative practices, particularly in areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure. It emphasizes the vital role played by women, their ideas and experiences, to equally influence and implement innovative solutions in a rapidly changing digital world where opportunities are constantly arising for innovation and technology to shape cities of the future.
Within the world of transit, the best way to honor the UN’s 2019 Women’s Day theme, is to highlight a few of the transit industry’s very own tenacious women, whose contributions, dedication and innovative approach to solutions have allowed them to push the industry forward, while growing alongside.
VP Human Resources, RATP Dev USA, Patty Fritz
As a global organization, and part of RATP Dev USA’s hiring and professional development, we take a proactive and positive stance on gender equality and gender balance. Celebrating diversity and inclusion is a vital part of our ability to successfully deliver the highest level of performance. RATP Dev promotes inclusion as an asset to build successful, agile teams and a critical part of our culture.
Dedicated to forming a culture that supports empowerment and innovative practices, Patty Fritz created and leads RATP Dev USA’s ‘Grow Our Own’ professional development program where teammates like Gennie Garcia (detailed below) can participate and develop to advance their career in transit. Patty plays a vital role in building an environment of trust, collaboration, and learning, which has accelerated the thinking of all teammates at RATP Dev USA. We constantly strive for continuous improvements in all that we do. Patty is the epitome of a passionate leader whose strong values push the industry forward.
General Manager in Midland-Odessa, TX, Gennie Garcia
One of RATP Dev USA’s Managers, Gennie Garcia, has sought to continuously implement innovative, integrated solutions to impact the industry and her communities. Her love for transit and drive to tackle new challenges each day, opened the door for advancement, from Intern to Customer Service Manager and from Manager Trainee to General Manager. As a part of RATP Dev USA’s ‘Grow Our Own’ program, Gennie gained experience in transit systems of all sizes, across four states.
While working as the General Manager of Ocala Sun Tran, she put innovation at the core of her efforts to resolve public barriers by implementing new and modern technologies, often a rarity for small systems. With automatic passenger counters and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Gennie understood the power of technology and taught her teams and drivers to troubleshoot issues, and use data to their advantage, ultimately assisting planning and comprehensive operations analysis. In her current position at Midland-Odessa, Gennie recently led an initiative to incorporate Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ to enable paratransit customers to book trips by simply speaking to their device. The ‘Alexa’ device partners with an Ecolane App that can book and cancel trips, and track their vehicle, with options to receive text messages prior to arrival.
Dispatcher, Capital Metro, DeNay Rhock
Well-known as the “OrbCAD Guru”, DeNay Rhock, led her RATP Dev team and Capital Metro successfully in implementing and launching OrbCAD, the GPS computer aided dispatch and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) System. The technology helps boost dispatch and operational efficiency through improved adherence to route schedules, faster responses to service disruptions and increased safety for passengers and employees. The improvements from the GPS technology yields over 200,000 data points per month. This first move towards a “smart bus” is certainly not the last for DeNay Rhock. As technology continues to evolve, she is determining to evolve along with it. Through combined efforts with RATP Dev’s partners like , she has already begun her transition to a true “Innovation/Tech Guru.” The women of RATP Dev climb higher, as innovation and technology make way for greater opportunity.
Chairwoman & CEO of RATP Group, Catherine Guillouard
Think Local. Leverage Global.
Our local culture of empowerment and innovation is fueled by our global entity. The RATP Group is led with a mission to “innovate to build a sustainable, intelligent city, by designing, operating and maintaining transport modes on behalf of passengers.” Committed to creating smarter cities, the of RATP recently engaged in the ‘Woman4Climate’ conference on February 21, which brought together a community of women leaders and innovators to fight for climate and debate solutions for the future of our planet. Through innovative and forward thinking, global leader, Catherine Guillouard immerses herself & RATP into a major role of economic and social responsibility to move cities forward.
As the world quickly evolves through technological advancements, the women at RATP take their place as innovators in the transit industry by putting an emphasis on innovation and continuous improvement in all their efforts. RATP Dev is proud of the women in transit and the changes they are driving to ‘build smart’ and ‘innovate change’, as we work together– moving towards a better city.