Growing up, Joanna Pinkerton's parents always taught her that she could accomplish anything she set her mind to.
"There just was an early emphasis put into my life by my parents that if there's something you want to do ... there's nothing stopping you," said Pinkerton, CEO of the Central Ohio Transit Authority.
It was only later in life that Pinkerton, an engineer who was used to finding herself in male-dominated classrooms and workplaces, realized the playing field isn't always even. Not everyone gets the same support she did, while societal biases can make it even harder for women to succeed in fields like engineering, science and math.
"We don't realize how much implicit bias we put on women at a very young age," Pinkerton said.
Along with recognizing those barriers, Pinkerton said, it's been important for her to take steps that will help others overcome them now that she's in a position of power.
"In my early years I would say I did not have the confidence nor did I give enough credence to explicitly supporting others who face racial or gender bias," Pinkerton said. "… Now that I've held positions of influence, I find it quite inspiring to be able to be a spokesperson and to create a safe place for other people."
Check out the full episode to hear more about Pinkerton has shifted her thinking about addressing gender disparity, and what she's done as a manager and a mentor to make things different.
You'll also hear the highlights of her first two years leading COTA, and her plans and hopes for how the organization can evolve even as it weathers the storm of the coronavirus pandemic.