- Danica Patrick's historic pole-position win for the 2013 Daytona 500 is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's new Web exhibit, Women in Transportation History.
- The two-part interactive exhibit celebrates Women's History Month during March.
- The exhibit is the latest component of the Women and Girls Policy Initiative.
WASHINGTON — Even the U.S. government is touting NASCAR driver Danica Patrick's historic pole-position win for the 2013 Daytona 500.
Her recent success is one of the crown jewels of the Department of Transportation's new Web exhibit, Women in Transportation History, to help celebrate Women's History Month. During March, the Transportation Department recognizes women's success and the progress toward equity between men and women.
The two-part interactive exhibit features key historical moments of women in transportation going back to 1890. Viewers can slide a virtual frame across the collage chronologically to change what time period is active on their screen.
The collage also sports an alphabetical list of key figures that viewers can navigate. Besides Patrick, there is an entry for Janet Guthrie becoming the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Helene Rother, the first female to work as an automotive designer when she joined the interior styling staff of General Motors in Detroit.
The second element is a more traditional timeline dating back to 1790. The timeline allows visitors to slide the active frame forward or backward in history.
Both the collage and timeline become more interactive by offering a link that allows viewers the opportunity to nominate women in transportation history the DOT might have missed.
The Web exhibit is the latest component of the Women and Girls Policy Initiative, a broader effort by the Department of Transportation that debuted in 2009 to create a pipeline of younger women coming into the transportation workforce, be it in a skilled trade or as a racecar driver.
"Danica Patrick did not have any involvement in the Women and Girls Policy Initiative, but rather was one of many women who have made their mark in transportation history and as a result, she was included in the timeline," Susan Hendrick, deputy press secretary for DOT, told Edmunds in an e-mail.
Edmunds says: From wagons and horse carts to bicycles, automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes and space, women in transportation finally get their spotlight.