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Clarion call for change sounds as beacon of gender equity dims in transport

5 October 2023

Early findings from a pioneering gender equity in transport project made for depressing listening on diversity and gender pay equity, at a recent gathering of women in maritime and other transport sectors.

The Women in Transport Equity Index Project initial findings, presented at London International Shipping Week, shows women are still overwhelmingly relegated to non-transport-specific roles such as human resources, marketing, and administration.

Merely 25% of personnel within transport organisations identify as female, and only 29% of those women occupy senior roles.

Worryingly, only 32.7% of surveyed organisations had undertaken a gender pay gap review in the last year. And those who did found alarming gaps, with 41% revealing a disparity between 11% and 20%.

The equity index initiative is led by Sue Terpilowski and Sonya Byers. Ms Terpilowski said the Equity Index stands as a 'guiding beacon for what the sector can achieve in terms of inclusivity'.

The findings were presented at a summit hosted by Maritime UK, in collaboration with Women in Transport at Hill Dickinson in London, and attracted many professionals from across the transport sectors, spanning maritime, aviation, bus and rail.

Several speakers reiterated the immediate need for 'progressive discussions in transport spaces' on issues such as the importance of allyship and the need for more menopause awareness.

Deborah Layde, chair of the Women in Maritime Network, highlighted the growing number of 'brave, authentic women' in the maritime industry.

The summit was described as 'a clarion call for accelerated change underscoring the necessity for tangible actions rather than mere discourse'.