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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article22 May 20231 min read

New toolkit aims to help the transport sector address its gender imbalance

Worldwide, the transport sector has a significant gender imbalance. According to the International Labour Organization’s latest figures, women make up just 17% of those working in transport globally. This differs immensely regionally, with 29% of workers women in North America, 22% in the EU, 5.5% in the Arab States, 10% in Africa and 12% in Asia and the Pacific. Nonetheless, the lack of women (particularly in technology and engineering roles) is visible across the entire sector.

More generally, transport currently faces many challenges. Digitalisation and automation are transforming working practices and conditions, an accelerating climate emergency underlines the urgency for more sustainable practices, and skills and labour shortages persist. Confronted with this complex medley of challenges, the need to recruit and retain women in the sector is an opportunity to help take the sector forward and to keep it competitive.

There has been a growing recognition of the need, not simply to shift, but to transform this imbalance, with repeated calls for action from transport organisations across the globe. However, the last decade has seen neither the scale nor the speed of progress required, and there has been little significant improvement in the situation on the ground.

In order to help set the needed transformation underway, the ‘Gender imbalance in the transport sector: a toolkit for change' has been developed by POLIS, with funding from the FIA Foundation for the Sustainable Urban Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative. Informed by extensive primary and secondary research conducted over a year, the toolkit surveys the current state of the transport workforce, the key changes we have witnessed over the last decade and identifies the key barriers which are obstructing progress. The document is a practical guide for all organisations involved in the transport sector, with over 25 case studies, as well as a library of resources and key networks and tools.

The toolkit will be launched at the ITF Summit in Leipzig, which takes place between 23 and 25 May 2023. More information is available here. More information is available here.



Publication date
22 May 2023
  • Policy and research
  • International