Ministers seek to drive positive change for women in the transport industry
This year International Women’s Day is being celebrated with the theme of #BalanceforBetter to drive gender balance across the world.
Department for Transport (DfT) ministers have written to industry leaders asking them to increase the availability of opportunities across the transport sector for women.
A roundtable has been scheduled to look into the barriers preventing women from joining the sector and will seek to drive positive change similar to that seen within DfT over the last couple of years.
Currently, just six per cent of pilots and seven per cent of train drivers are female, and women account for just 18 per cent of the transport sector workforce overall. At the DfT, two of the five current ministers are women, as is the Permanent Secretary.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “There are some good initiatives across all transport sectors but it is clear that much more needs to be done by the industry to provide opportunities for women, as we work with them to better understand the reasons behind poor female representation across the transport workforce.
“The roundtable will help the industry develop plans to bring more women into the sector and help ensure the widest possible talent from across the whole of society is engaged and able to access the great careers the transport sector offers.”
Katie Hulland, President of Women in Transport, said: “We welcome this action to help our industry understand the barriers to women entering and progressing in the transport sector. Despite significant initiatives across our sector, the number of women working in transport in the UK has declined in recent years.
“It’s essential that we understand why this is happening and identify practical measures that will create a more balanced workforce that reflects the UK population. We believe collaboration across the sector and governmental support is the key to unlocking the potential talent pool that women offer to the transport sector”
Chris Grayling ensured that gender balance in the rail sector is part of the Williams Rail Review, and Andrew Jones visited Doncaster where he saw the work the rail industry is doing to improve female participation in the workforce, particularly at apprentice level.