Women in Transport
Time and place:
|Date:||24 January 2017|
|Place:||Radisson RED Hotel, Rue d’Italie 35, Brussels|
On January 24 the European Logistics Platform (ELP) hosted the first event of 2017, where 40 EU policymakers and industry stakeholders came together to discuss the opportunities for women in transport and logistics. Transport is not a gender-balanced sector: only 22% of people working in transport are women, compared to 46% in the overall economy. The event was an opportunity to review what can be done to attract more women to the sector, at a time when technological progress opens new opportunities. The event was hosted by MEP Ismail Ertug, coordinator for the S&D group in the TRAN Committee as well as member of the ELP Advisory Board. In his welcoming statement, Mr Ertug stressed that the topic of gender balance is particularly challenging for transport and that road transport has the lowest share of women, at only 14%. MEP Jens Nilsson, member of the TRAN committee and rapporteur on the opinion on equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services, took the floor to moderate the proceedings, stressing that “gender balancing is important as it leads to good results for business, for use of skills and competences, but there is a need for leadership to get these results.”
In two presentations from industry the focus was on the importance of the attractiveness of the transport industry to make it an interesting career path also for women. Ms Tove Winiger, representing Nordic Logistics Association and Head of Public Affairs in Swedish Association for Road Transport Operators presented the Swedish experience, where gender issues are becoming less and less an issue. Ms Winiger remarked that, female drivers can be good for business: safer driving, less repairs, less use of fuel. But she also stressed that some basic issues need to be handled such as hygienic facilities in rest areas. Ms Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigning at the Freight Transport Association presented some examples of campaigns led by FTA in the UK to increase the attractiveness of the logistics sector and encourage women to consider logistics as a career opportunity, from awareness raising campaigns in schools to the promotion of female role models as well as recognition of the achievements of female professionals. She stressed the need for more exchange of best practices, joined-up approach across all modes and gender-neutral career advice.
The Commission, who initiated the discussion on the subject last year, was represented by Mr Gilles Bergot, Deputy Head of Unit, Social issues in DG MOVE. He announced that the Commission is preparing a platform for gender equality, which will bring together relevant experiences and competences to further promote gender equality in transport. The Commission is already launching studies on advantages of hiring women and on the attractiveness of the industry.
In conclusion, Mr Ertug stressed the message on gender equality as good for business, but there is a need to ensure the framework conditions – including acceptable facilities for both genders on for instance the TEN-T network. He emphasised that many actions need to be taken to improve the interest of women in career in transport and recognised that it is also for MEP’s to ensure that the issue is addressed whenever possible and relevant.
The press release is available in pdf version here.
The European Logistics Platform consists of more than twenty-five industry stakeholders representing a wide variety of actors involved in logistics and supply chains across Europe. Current members are ABP, ACEA, BDL, CER, CLECAT, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Duisport, ECG, ECSLA, ERFA, ESC, FEPORT, FERRMED, FTA, Goodyear Dunlop Tires, Hutchison Whampoa, IRU, Michelin, Nordic Logistics Association, P&G, Port of Rotterdam, RFG, Transport en Logistiek Nederland, UIRR, Volvo Group