To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women in Transport, the Transport Select Committee and Women in Transport co-hosted a networking event in Parliament for women working in the transport industry.
The event was attended by Parliamentarians, including Chris Grayling MP, and around 60 senior women from the transport sector, including Women in Transport board members. It was an opportunity for senior women working in the transport sector to meet members of the Transport Committee, Women in Transport and the APPG, to explain about their work and expertise to increase female representation in the Transport Select Committee’s work.
Why we need to address women’s under-representation in the transport workforce
Nearly 1.5 million people work in transport and logistics in the UK. While the picture has improved in recent years, women represent just one-fifth of the workforce. The issue is particularly acute in engineering, where women represent just 12 per cent of the workforce – this is the lowest in Europe.
That means the transport sector is missing out on the talents, abilities and expertise of half of the population. Likewise, the rewarding opportunities a career in transport offers, enhancing the quality of life for people around the world, are not available to women and girls in the same way they are for men.
It also means we are missing out on the benefits brought to transport schemes that women are involved in planning, designing, delivering, and operating. Transport is used by everyone, so a diverse range of views is needed to shape and inform transport at all stages to enable it to be successful.
Partnering with the Transport Select Committee to give women a greater voice on transport policy
The APPG and Women in Transport were delighted to support the Transport Select Committee in addressing the under-representation of women in their work. Only one in three witnesses to Select Committee inquiries are women, according to the most recent evidence from the Liaison Committee.
Given the small number of women working in the higher levels of transport, the opportunity for the Transport Committee to hear female voices is even smaller. This is another vital step towards helping women maximise their potential and will ensure their voices can be heard by MPs and inform parliamentary scrutiny of transport issues.
Our thanks to the Transport Select Committee and Jo Field for organising a great networking event. We hope that we will see an increase in women offering their expertise to the Transport Committee for future inquiries.
Women in Transport is current compiling a whitepaper on best practice on recruiting and retaining women in the transport sector. This forms part of our work as secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport.
Have you got a great example from your organisation to share? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute a case study for inclusion in the whitepaper or signpost an existing resource.