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International Women´s Day: Celebrating Female Pioneers who shaped Mobility over the past Century

international womens day, these female pioneers have driven developments in mobility over the past century

The International Women’s Day is a powerful reminder of the central role women have played in shaping our world. At Yunex Traffic, we recognize the importance of this day and take the opportunity to honor female pioneers who have left an everlasting mark on the traffic and mobility industry over the past century.

Driving Change: Six Female Mobility Innovators you should know

These women have not only brought innovation, but also shattered stereotypes and paved the way for future generations. By highlighting the stories and achievements of these inspiring role models, we hope to empower and encourage more women to enter and thrive in the mobility market.

June Hill Robertson McCarroll – Fought for the concept of traffic lanes

Inspired by an unfortunate car accident, June Hill Robertson McCarroll is credited to have created the first concept of traffic lanes. McCarroll, who was working as a nurse prior to becoming a physician, was run off the road in her Ford Model T in 1917 in California. She conjured up the idea of a white line being painted in the middle of the road, but when she took the suggestion to local authorities, they dismissed her. Determined, she took it upon herself to paint a line in the road, which helped her gain support for a statewide campaign. The California Highway Commission approved the measure in 1924 and most of the world quickly also began using traffic lines.

Florence Lawrence – Had the very first idea for turn signals

Florence Lawrence was another important figure in the automotive industry, as she is believed to be the founder of turn signals. Although she was widely known as an actress, she also loved cars and rumor has it she even conducted mechanical maintenance on her car by herself. She also installed turn signals on her car, which were made with actual flags that emerged when she pressed a button, and a brake signal, which was a sign labeled “STOP” that emerged when she hit the brake pedal.

Hedy Lamarr – Invented the signal-hopping

Hedy Lamarr is most famously known as an actress, but she also undoubtedly made a name for herself in the auto industry as well. During the Second World War, she developed a system that intercepted torpedo signals and caused signals from opposing naval ships to “hop.” While it took two decades to finally be implemented on ships, the signal-hopping she invented is now utilized in our cars for Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi capabilities.

Mary Anderson and Charlotte Bridgwood – Created windshield wipers

Mary Anderson and Charlotte Bridgwood Mary Anderson and Charlotte Bridgwood are both credited for creating the very useful devices we now call windshield wipers. Anderson first came up with the idea when she was on a trolley in New York City and the driver continuously had to get out of the vehicle to wipe snow off  the windshield. Her initial invention was a spring-loaded arm made with a rubber blade that could be operated from inside the car, and Bridgwood entered the picture 15 years later when she tweaked the idea to make the wipers electric. Surprisingly, their inventions were actually not immediately accepted by the auto industry and their patents expired before windshield wipers began appearing on vehicles everywhere.

Emily Post – Promoted women’s independence in driving

Emily Post is most well-known for her pristine etiquette lessons and her nickname as the “Matriarch of Manners,” but she was also one of the first female automotive journalists and a woman who strongly advocated for women driving themselves in the car. She first published a book about a cross-country road trip she and her son went on in 1916 and later wrote two books that intertwined both etiquette and automotive, titling them “Etiquette” (1922) and “Motor Manners: The Bluebooklet of Traffic Etiquette” (1949).

Meet the Visionary Women of #TeamYunexTraffic

Alongside celebrating the achievements of inspirational women who have shaped the mobility sector over the years, we also take this moment to recognize some of our incredible colleagues within Yunex Traffic.

Meet some of our female visionaries at Yunex Traffic and learn how they are transforming traffic and paving the way for the next 100 years:

Meet Silvia, our Global Learning Partner

Meet Silvia Kneer, our Global Learning Partner, and find out more about her role and how she is leading our learning and development efforts across #TeamYunexTraffic – making sure our teams have the skills they need to continually grow!

Meet Diana Willert, our Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer and see how she and her team are driving greener mobility for a more sustainable tomorrow.

Meet Sasha Sequeira, our Global Sustainability Manager, and see how our business teams are transforming traffic every single day.

Meet Katarina Dedić, our HR Systems Professional, and find out how our HR teams are transforming traffic each day!

Meet Thea Watts, our Business Development Lead, and hear about how being an ally can drive inclusiveness and make all the difference!

Supporting women at Yunex Traffic

As a company, we recognize the importance of having a diverse workforce. However, like many companies in the mobility sector, we still have a way to go when it comes to gender diversity. In 2023, it was reported that the number of women working in the transport sector globally made up just nearly 17% of all workers.

Recognizing the predominantly male landscape in the engineering/STEM sector, we understand the critical need for diverse perspectives to drive innovation.

This belief underpins our commitment to increasing female representation of our workforce at Yunex Traffic, for example in management roles, ensuring a broader spectrum of opinions and thoughts. In our recently launched Sustainability Report, we have committed to a transparent goal: to achieve a 25% representation of women in our leadership team by 2028. This is essential for us but also the future of transport. We need different views, ideas and voices to be truly successful.

Initiatives and measurements to support female innovators at #TeamYunexTraffic

In order to reach this goal and to strengthen the number of women in our business and industry, we have launched various initiatives and measurements to provide (future) female leaders the tools, support, and opportunities needed to excel in management roles.

Therefore, we place a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for female leaders, particularly in management positions at the C-1 and C-2 levels (management levels 1 and 2 below CEO/CFO-level). Dedicated succession plans are designed to foster a more diverse leadership pipeline. Another component of our female talent development is the establishment of the Global Women’s Network @Yunex Traffic that provides a platform for women to learn, grow, and support one another within the organization.

Furthermore, we aim to provide our female and male employees with a work environment that is family friendly and nurtures both personal growth and professional success in every stage of life. Therefore, we provide flexible working models, strengthen part time opportunities, and offer job sharing options in management roles. Furthermore, we provide more flexibility to change working hours.

By providing parental leave for both, mothers and fathers, and comprehensive childcare options, employees are granted the time and resources to actively participate in their child’s early years. This fosters stronger family bonds and alleviates potential stressors associated with childcare arrangements. Additionally, it empowers all parents to share responsibilities, promoting a healthier work-life balance for all.

Are you the next female mobility innovator? – Join us!