Department for Transport ministers have used International Women’s Day to call upon the industry to strive to become leaders in gender equality, seeking a positive change for women in the number of available opportunities across the sector.
As it stands, only six per cent of airline pilots and only seven per cent of train drivers are women. Together, 18 per cent of women account for the overall workforce.
“It is unacceptable,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling. “There are some good initiatives across all transport sectors, but it is clear that much more needs to be done by the industry to provide opportunities for women, as we work with them to better understand the reasons behind poor female representation across the transport workforce.”
The DfT will be holding a round table to look into the barriers preventing women from joining the sector. The round table “will help industry develop plans to bring more women into the sector and help ensure the widest possible talent from across the whole of society is engaged and able to access the great careers the transport sector offers,” said Grayling.
Women in Transport president welcomed the action. “Despite significant initiatives across our sector, the number of women working in transport in the UK has declined in recent years,” said Women in Transport president, Katie Hulland.
“It’s essential that we understand why this is happening and identify practical measures that will create a more balanced workforce that reflects the UK population. We believe collaboration across the sector and governmental support is the key to unlocking the potential talent pool that women offer to the transport sector.”
This news reflects the theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day (8 March) #BalanceforBetter to drive gender balance across the world.