Lilly Ledbetter, the Women’s Equality Activist responsible for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the 2016 annual conference of WTS International, the association for the professional advancement of women in transportation.
“Every year as we plan for the WTS Annual Conference, we seek to partner with an individual that resonates with our mission. Ms. Ledbetter exemplifies our association’s guiding principles of diversity, inclusion, and commitment to ethical leadership, integrity, and respect for all,” said Marcia Ferranto, WTS CEO and President. “We take pride in knowing that we are helping to build the world’s infrastructure and shaping future generations of transportation leaders. Working toward equality in the transportation workforce is what drives our members—Lilly Ledbetter will certainly propel them even further as she addresses them this May in Austin.”
The Annual Conference is WTS International’s flagship event. It attracts more than 600 corporate and governmental industry leaders worldwide, including executives, CEOs, government administrators, and leading engineering authorities. Attendees at the conference gather to network, discuss the state of the world’s transportation infrastructure, strategize on advancing professionally through glass ceilings, and explore the local city’s successful municipal and private transportation and traffic projects. For the full duration of this year’s Austin conference, private corporations, public agencies, and government officials invested in every transportation mode will exhibit, present, learn and network.
Lilly Ledbetter is an author, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. In 1979, Lilly Ledbetter was hired as a supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden, Alabama. She worked tirelessly and was often praised by Goodyear for her fine work. Ledbetter eventually became aware that she wasn’t being compensated as much as her male counterparts towards the end of her career. After retiring from Goodyear in 1998, she sued the company for paying her significantly less than her male counterparts. The lawsuit ultimately reached the Supreme Court, which denied her claim because she did not file suit 180 days from her first pay check even though she said she didn't know it at the time. Successively, the 111th United States Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 to relax the timeliness requirements for the filing of a discrimination suit so long as any act of discrimination, including receipt of a paycheck that reflects a past act of discrimination, occurs within the 180 day period of limitations.