Ministers across the Department for Transport have written to industry leaders calling on them to take action to increase the availability of opportunities across the sector for women.
This action is the culmination of weeks of activity in which ministers across the Department for Transport have reached out to raise the issue of getting more women into the transport sector.
DfT has announced that it will shortly be holding a major round-table to look into the barriers preventing women from joining the sector. It will seek to drive positive change similar to that seen within DfT over the last couple of years.
Currently, just 6% of pilots and 7% of train drivers are female, and women account for just 18% of the transport sector workforce overall. At the DfT, 2 of the 5 current ministers are women, as is the Permanent Secretary.
This year International Women’s Day is being celebrated on Friday 8 March, with the theme of #BalanceforBetter to drive gender balance across the world.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It is unacceptable that out of every 100 airline pilots, only six are women and that for every 100 train drivers only seven are women.
“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 round-table I have announced 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.
Katie Hulland, President of Women in Transport, said: “Women in Transport welcomes this action to help our industry understand the barriers to women entering and progressing in the transport sector. Despite significant initiatives across our sector, the number of women working in transport in the UK has declined in recent years.
“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.”