The green woman signals can now be found all over London.
In working to improve diversity and achieve equality, the big steps and bold actions matter the most. That’s never not going to be true when aiming to create a better world for all people. However, sometimes the little touches can be a statement of intent, a precursor to better things – and sometimes even the little touches can make a big difference. Today, on International Women’s Day (March 8), TfL has unveiled one of these small but significant steps, as they’ve installed new ‘green woman’ traffic signals at 23 locations across the city, in recognition of the contribution of women to London.
The green woman signals have been installed in high-profile spots, including Exhibition Road (home to the Natural History Museum and the V&A Museum, amongst others), on high streets in Tooting, Clapham, Tottenham, and Dalston, outside busy Tube stations such as King’s Cross St Pancras and Brixton, and next to Hyde Park and the South Bank. Obviously, they’re a winsome riff on the standard ‘green man’ seen at traffic lights across the UK, but there’s a serious message behind them.
Firstly, the signals are inspired by the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day: “Choose to Challenge”. The green woman signals don’t opt for any standard depiction of women, instead depicting “a diverse range of women” to create a more inclusive depiction. Not only are they intended to improve the visibility of women on the city’s streets, the green woman signals function as a tacit reminder of the vast contributions women of all ages, races, genders, sexualities, abilities, and backgrounds make towards London being the greatest city in the world.
They’re also a sign of TfL’s commitment to inspiring more girls and women to take up careers in the transport industry, encouraging more female applicants for graduate schemes and apprenticeships, and supporting women’s progression into high-level management roles.
The green woman signals are a permanent (and long-overdue) addition to the capital, so keep your eyes peeled next time you’re at a set of traffic lights to spot them. Oh, and let’s see if we can get even more of these rolled out across town so there’s a nice 50-50 split, shall we?
It’s not the first time TfL have marked International Women’s Day with a new design – did you see last year’s redecorated Tube roundels?
Also published on Medium.