Currently only 22% of transport workers are women. The European Commission would like to resert this trend and has launched three public consultations to better understand what are the causes of such low percentage.

Each consultation adresses a particular stakeholder group- namely EU Member States, Transport Trade Unions and associations of transport operations. The aim of these consultations is to better understand the causes of this low percentage and think of ways to make the transport sector more attractive for women.

To participate in the consultation, download the relevant document from the ones provided below and submit your responses by October 2016.

Consultation addressed to the EU Member States:
Consultation on gender equality in transport pdf - 298 KB [298 KB]  (MS Word msw12 - 51 KB [51 KB] – ODF odt - 46 KB [46 KB] )

Consultation addressed to the main EU Transport Trade Unions:
Consultation on gender equality in transport pdf - 299 KB [299 KB] (MS Word msw12 - 51 KB [51 KB] – ODF odt - 45 KB [45 KB] )

Consultation addressed to the main EU associations of transport operators:
Consultation on gender equality in transport pdf - 299 KB [299 KB] (MS Word msw12 - 52 KB [52 KB] – ODF odt - 46 KB [46 KB] )


Only 22 % of women work in the transport sector. This figure is well below the figure for the overall economy (46 %). Road and rail transport are the more unbalanced sectors with 86 % men workers. Air transport is more balanced with 62% male workers and 38 % female. There is also a strong imbalance between types of employees inside each sector. For instance in the rail sector, the share of women amounts to 60 % in the human resource department but only to 3% among drivers.

Commissioner Bulc, in charge of transport, in cooperation with Commissioner Jourova, in charge in particular of gender equality, aim to develop a policy to attract more women to work in the sector. Indeed, in addition to the benefits brought about by a more gender balanced working environment, we will soon face workforce shortages in the transport sector due to the ageing of the current workforce (a third of all transport workers are over 50 years old). It is already difficult to hire drivers. Besides, times have changed and automation/digitalisation bring about new opportunities for women.

As a first step, a seminar was held with a small group of experts on 21 April 2016. Conclusions of the event are available here.

During the seminar, the Slovak presidency proposed to put the issue on the agenda of the TTE Council of 1 December 2016. For their part, the Commission services envisage to prepare a Staff Working Document on the topic during the second half of 2017 and studies to prepare for future communication campaigns.

An economic study could be launched to analyse the benefits of employing more women in the transport sector (measuring the link between women’s employment and safety, customers’ satisfaction, employees’ engagement, retention/turnover, productivity -taking account fuel consumption-, access to a broader range of potential employees and to new talents, internal cultural benefits, etc).

Special attention will also be paid to the gender issue in the social study which should be launched by the end of 2016 following a pilot project from the European Parliament on “Making the EU transport sector attractive for future generations”.

Finally, the Commission services are looking into the feasibility of putting in place a “Platform for change” where stakeholders could commit to taking specific actions in favour of women in the transport sector and where good practices could be exchanged (such a platform was successfully put in place in the field of “Diet, Physical Activity and Health”).

As promoting gender equality in transport requires a variety of measures including changing mentalities, improving working environments, raising awareness, only a combination of actions at EU, national and company levels may be successful.



Original Source: European Commission