Women in Transport is supporting a new pledge that promotes greater diversity of employment in the transport sector, developed by The Mayor’s Fund for London and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, specifically aimed at increasing the representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) talent in the transport workforce in London.
As a professional network that supports women working in the transport industry, we know that transport is the lifeblood of any city and that diversity is crucial to ensure that the sector reflects the customers it serves. Greater diversity will also allow employers to take full advantage of the available talent in the market and help alleviate the skills shortage our industry currently faces.
Research shows that young people and those from BAME communities are under-represented in the transport workforce. Unemployment of young people is higher in London than anywhere else in the UK and young people from BAME communities are twice as likely to be unemployed and almost twice as likely to live in relative poverty as their white counterparts.
The ‘Transforming Transport' pledge is a set of commitments based on good practice developed with major employers to inspire and encourage other transport employers. Our board members (Sonya Veerasamy and Helena Callow) have been involved in the Mayor's Fund for London Transport Sector Employer Group for the past two years and we were delighted to attend the launch of the diversity pledge at City Hall on 17 November. It was wonderful to see major transport employers including Network Rail, HS2 and London Underground join forces for good.
Employers who take the Pledge are committed to three core principles:
1. Working in partnership to drive sustainable change: Employers engage more closely with a wide range of employment support organisations and schools, allowing access to a broader talent pool.
2. Internal transparency and champions: Staff and recruitment partners are aware of the employer’s commitment to diversity. Appointing senior champions and encouraging peer to peer mentoring are powerful methods of embedding commitment to diversity.
3. Short term investment creates long term benefit: Providing access to structured work experience opportunities and/or quality apprenticeships are key methods of bringing new skills to business. Good practice has shown that the associated upfront costs are offset by the longer-term benefit to business.
Major employers that have signed up to the diversity pledge include Network Rail, London Underground, Great Western Railway, TfL, ENGIE and TXM Recruit. Learn more about the diversity pledge here.