Last month, we held our Annual General Meeting, bringing together our board and members to discuss our journey so far and future plans for Women in Transport.
Our journey so far
We have come a very long way since WTS London was established in 2005 to provide networking, professional development and a platform to advance women working in transport.
Events have been a cornerstone of our network from the beginning but we have become involved in so much more.
We collaborated on the 100 years of women in transport campaign in 2014 which significantly raised the profile of women working across transport. In 2016, we formed the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport, working with parliamentarians to increase the representation of women in our sector across the UK.
In September 2017, we re-branded to Women in Transport and launched our pilot Advance mentoring programme. In the 18 months since, our membership has increased by over 133 per cent, we entered a second year of our Advance mentoring programme and launched the North East hub in January - our first outside London. Events have continued to be delivered to a consistently high standard and we now offer 16 events a year in London and have already held three in the North East.
Our new website has seen over 19,000 unique visitors and we now have 10.9K followers on Twitter and over 900 on LinkedIn. These provide a platform to raise visibility and awareness of the women working in transport and the diverse career opportunities in our sector.
Our future plans
Our activities are funded through a blend of corporate sponsorship, paid membership and goodwill. Our long term partnerships with TfL and WSP have helped us support the network over the years and, more recently, we have welcomed Momentum, Nexus, Eurovia UK and AGS One as corporate members. Our Advance programme is sponsored by TXM Recruit, Xanta Rail, Steer and Cubic Transportation Systems. Our most recent APPG event was sponsored by TXM Recruit, ENGIE and Hitachi.
Until the end of 2018, our activities had been delivered by one part-time member of staff - the brilliant Christine Hurley - and a team of dedicated volunteers. Sonya Veerasamy was appointed in January 2019, as the Interim Chief Executive of Women in Transport, working three days a week to support our growth.
At the AGM, we discussed and agreed our key focus areas and objectives for 2019/2020:
Increasing our membership fee to £60 recurring from 1st May 2019 with a concession for full-time students
Growing our membership to 850 members by April 2020
Establishing new regional hubs organically using the pilot model created in the North East of England.
Expanding our volunteer support network to provide a succession plan for the board
Continuing fundraising through corporate sponsorships, partnerships and exploring additional revenue streams
Increasing our representation across the various modes of transport
Raising awareness and engagement through our website and our social media channels
We were delighted to welcome so many people to our AGM this year to help us advance Women in Transport and would like to thank everyone who joined us for their enthusiasm and contribution.
It’s been a busy start to 2019 packed full of activity for the board and the volunteers that support us and the future is an exciting one. Our plans include delivering a full programme of 16 events this year, putting together a white paper on recruitment and retention focused on women in transport and launching applications for Advance 2020.
How can you help?
Spread the word
If you’re a member of Women in Transport already, please spread the word. Many of our new members come to us through word of mouth and social media so, if you enjoy being part of the network, bring a friend along to our Spring Reception and encourage them to join us. We’re a friendly bunch and we love meeting new people.
Share your story
Our member insight series is an opportunity to showcase the diversity of careers in transport and to highlight the fabulous women in our network. Answer a few quick questions and send us a picture and we will share it on our blog and social media channels. Share your story here.
We welcomed a new group of volunteers following the AGM. We work together in workstreams covering: operations (including treasury, marketing and corporate partnerships), membership, mentoring, events and the APPG.
We are looking for volunteers to support us with social media, blogging, photography, event day support and treasury. If you have a skill that you would like to develop, why not get involved as a volunteer? Whether you have an hour to spare, a day or a bit more, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us and tell us more about you.