Heading towards DiverCity

The Corporate Partnership Board of the ITF launched a gender initiative in Paris on 8 March 2019. Photo: Participants of the workshop ‘Recruiting and Retaining a Gender-Diverse Workforce’

Better opportunities for women in the transport and logistics industry! This is the aim of a new initiative launched by the Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) of the International Transport Forum (ITF) on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. Our colleague Paulo Humanes, Vice President Business Development & New Mobility, addressed the issues that must be dealt with in the future to pave the way for gender equality.

In Europe, only 22% of all employees in the transport sector are women, and the proportion is significantly lower among decision-makers. With over 2.25 million employees worldwide, the group of companies working with the ITF through the CPB is an important voice in the discussion on gender and transport. This group aims to create an industry network connecting transport companies and related businesses and organisations that contribute to ensuring gender equality.

A one-day workshop on ‘Recruiting and Retaining a Gender-Diverse Workforce’ was held at the OECD in Paris on 8 March, which marked the launch of the initiative. The participants examined ways of improving gender equality in the transport sector and had the opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and best practice. 

A Smart City must be a DiverCity

Paulo Humanes, Vice President Business Development & New Mobility

Paulo Humanes was one of the keynote speakers: “Mobility patterns of men and women are different – women use public transport more frequently worldwide. At the same time, they are afraid of being sexually harassed in buses or trains. This in turn has an impact on their quality of life and their access to opportunities. Therefore, urban development projects must ensure that women are involved in policy making, decision-making and planning of urban transport systems. Our customers include more than 2,500 cities worldwide – so we also help shape the future of cities. Only a DiverCity has what it takes to become a Smart City.” The PTV Group provides the world’s leading transport planning software that assists the cities in reaching their goals. Our tools enable them to model all road users and their interactions, to plan public transport services and develop future-proof transport strategies and solutions. “We want to make sure that our solutions contribute to integrative urban development – and the involvement of a diverse workforce is the way to achieve this.”

Women pursue successful careers

During the workshop, Humanes presented the technical career path at PTV. It allows colleagues, who do not aspire to leadership roles, to build a career and develop themselves professionally. Expertise is the basis for further development. It is not only about valuing and promoting specialist knowledge, but also about motivating the employees to share their knowledge and skills. Moreover, this concept aims at encouraging them to play an active role in shaping the company’s policy and development.

At PTV Group, by the way, 32% of our employees are women. And the share of women in software development is 22%. A study published by the IT job exchange Honeypot in 2018 shows that the percentage of women in IT in Germany is approx. 16%. Although we at PTV are above the German average, we want to improve even further. Career development programmes are not part of a strategy to be approved once and then be ‘ignored’. The measures should be regularly reassessed and enhanced in order to ensure an integrative and diverse organisation.

The workshop results will be incorporated into the ITF’s work on gender in transport and into the wider international debate that the ITF and its business partners are actively involved in.

ITF acts as a think tank for transport policies and organises the Annual Summit of transport ministers. It is the only global body that covers all modes of transport. The ITF is politically autonomous and administratively integrated with the OECD. CPB’s task is to get private sector experts involved in transport and traffic projects for strategic policy analyses. It is a global network of companies from all modes of transport and transport-relevant industries such as energy, finance and ICT.