By Mailys Pineau
I've been a member of Women in Transport for three and a half years. I joined when one my former managers, also a member, encouraged me to attend a Women in Transport event. This was linked to a book written by Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris, ‘Beyond the Boy’s Club,’ which I found incredibly useful in documenting behaviours and explaining how we can address some of the typical challenges women face in male-dominated industries.
Since then, I have attended many more skills development workshops as well as behind the scenes site tours and fantastic receptions. I made it to the House of Commons for our annual All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women in Transport reception, where I forged useful connections with leaders in the industry. I also joined the pilot mentoring scheme, Advance, to gain insights into how to take my career further. This has had a profound impact on how I plan my work and collaborate with others.
But my membership with Women in Transport is not just career-focused - it's also a lot of fun!
Here are my top three, absolutely unique and brilliant experiences accessed through my membership:
Meeting the nicest bunch of volunteers, I’ve ever come across. Some trail-blazing women and men who juggle full-time jobs with kids, and have a genuine passion for promoting better gender balance in the industry.
Driving a bus! Honestly, how many memberships give you this opportunity? This included not only some scary moments turning the wheel, but also learning about the daily lives of bus drivers.
Walking into the Crossrail tunnel in Plumstead, wearing full PPE for the very first time
In a nutshell, my membership of Women in Transport has been a huge help in supporting my growth as a transport professional, gaining confidence and making useful connections. In particular, I have learnt that networking, which used to terrify me, does not come naturally to many people. However, it helps enormously if you get started in a room full of like-minded people.
I have also learnt about the breadth of careers and working conditions across the transport industry, being equally enthused and appalled by some of the experiences I have heard about. Most importantly, my membership of Women in Transport keeps nurturing my passion for transport and meeting extraordinary people working in the shadows to get London moving every day.