You may recall a while ago that we asked Women in Transport members to encourage their children to participate in Transport for London's (TfL) children’s book competition, telling the stories of Women in Transport. It was organised in partnership with British book printing institution Clays and is part of the Mayor of London’s #BehindEveryGreatCity, marking the centenary of the first women in the UK winning the right to vote.
The competition, which included three different age categories, asked children to use their imaginations to draw a picture or write a story about how women at TfL keep London moving.
From more than 600 entries, from all over London, TfL has just announced the winners. Tess Kearney, now aged 8, Ibraheem Saleemi, now aged 9, and Isra Sulevani, now aged 14, have now had their stories and images turned into a limited edition book, ‘Keeping London Moving’, with the winning drawing featured on the front page. They also got to take part in a behind the scenes tour of TfL, discovering the different job roles there are in the transport industry.
Lauren Sager Weinstein, Chief Data Officer at TfL, a Women in Transport team leader and also one of The Female Lead’s 20 role models in Data & Technology, is pictured above with the winners. Lauren said: “The imagination that all of the children showed in their creations, along with their passion and enthusiasm, indicates the bright futures they have ahead of them and only emphasises why gender should never be a barrier to achieving your aspirations. It’s thrilling to see the creativity in these entries from talented young Londoners.
Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “It is great to see this fantastic collection of stories and drawings from children across the city, capturing the crucial role women play in keeping London moving. Telling the stories of engineers, drivers and designers, this book will encourage young Londoners to explore the opportunities available to them in our city, and ensure they know that no-one should be held back by their gender.”
After much deliberation, the winning entries were chosen by the judging panel - formed of acclaimed authors, including Waterstones Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child MBE, ‘How to Train your Dragon’ author Cressida Cowell, and ‘Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World’ writer, Kate Pankhurst, as well as representatives from TfL and Clays.
The competition is part of a wider drive in the transport industry to encourage more women to consider a career in transport and more young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Currently, around 23 per cent of TfL’s workforce is female and only nine per cent of engineers are women. By creating a more diverse workforce that is representative of the city that it serves, TfL will encourage further creativity and innovation, which will lead to new ideas and ways of improving customers’ journeys.