Why women do not take more jobs in transport

Related to: Gender Equality, European Commission, women in transport, Women in Transport
8 Mar 2016

Ahead of the European Commission ‘Week for Women Working in Transport’ and in the light of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) asks the legislator to address the real causes preventing women to take more jobs in this industry

From 18 to 24 April the European Commission (EC) will launch the European Week for Women Working in Transport and organise a major event on the topic on 21 April. The ETF welcomes the EC initiative, acknowledging the unprecedented interest taken by DG MOVE in talking the underrepresentation of women in the industry. To make the process effective, the European Commission will however have to keep labour and employment conditions at the core of its endeavour to improve female participation in transport sectors.

This is an opening for a truthful evaluation of aspects that prevent women to take up and keep jobs in transport. In the last two decades, the ETF has been systematically working on female underrepresentation in transport. Without a doubt, persisting male dominating workplace cultures, along with the poor work-life balance, are top of the list among the above mentioned aspects” said Eduardo Chagas, General Secretary of the ETF.

What makes transport more attractive for women?

  • Fighting segregation, both vertical and horizontal, as segregation remains one of the main ‘feeders’ into the gender pay-gap;
  • Taking effective measures towards equal pay, by fighting among others gender segregation, career interruption and working patterns imposed by external circumstances such as family duties;
  • Fighting discriminatory practices in recruitment of staff, career path, access to professional training;
  • Improving workplace health and safety, to better accommodate the needs of women transport workers, as currently women are less visible in transport and they tend to be concentrated in atypical jobs;
  • Tackling workplace violence, a main cause for the low retention rate of women in transport, by incentivising adoption of ‘zero-tolerance’ policies across the industry and putting an end to the perception that, for instance, aggressive customer behaviour is “part of the job”.

The ETF urges the European Commission to come up with a coordinated approach towards effective policies to encompass the above actions.

Social partners in urban and rail transport, in maritime and ports, have developed tools and recommendations towards improving female representation in transport. A special place should be therefore given to sectoral social partners in this initiative undertaken by DG MOVE” said Cristina Tilling, ETF Political Secretary in charge with gender equality.

For more information, please contact ETF Political Secretary in charge with gender equality, Cristina Tilling via c.tilling@etf-europe.org or +32(0)478 55 81 35

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