Women and Transport

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EESC opinion: Women and Transport

Key EESC messages
  • All dimensions of the transport sector - air, sea, road, rail, inland navigation, space, logistics - are traditionally male-dominated and as a result:
    • transport policy is male-oriented: devised by men and centred around their lifestyle;
    • employment in the sector is primarily male and is geared to male workers;
    • the values embedded in the industry show little support for females in the sector and lack gender-sensitivity;
    • gender consideration is absent from EU transport policy.
  • Many of the barriers highlighted are generic to other sectors, but the transport sector is specifically poor in addressing the issues.
  • This exploratory opinion, drawn up at the request of the EU Commissioner for Transport, focuses on the opportunities for the transport sector to better include women and generate more economic, social and sustainable growth (the report does not cover women as users of transport). Despite the failings, the situation can change by implementing gender neutral policies to support competitiveness, innovation, growth and jobs in the context of EU 2020. The new Investment Plan for Europe promoting growth and jobs must mainstream gender equality, by eliminating existing gender impediments and developing a culture of engagement and inclusiveness for both men and women to be equally active in all aspects of transport.
  • The key recommendations are to:
    • collect data and establish key indicators to identify and deconstruct barriers;
    • ensure women are visible and active in policy- and decision-making, and planning;
    • proactively engage both sexes in creating a better working environment, including equal pay for equal work, within all the diversities of the sector;
    • take actions towards attracting women to employment opportunities with measures to improve employment quality;
    • better engage universities and career services to promote the wide scope of the sector, including technology, R&D and engineering;
    • proactively promote the role of women in business;
    • empower women and the sector to be more inclusive.


Contact the TEN Section secretariat for more information


Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 [COM(2010) 491 final]

CARS 2020: Action plan for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe – Mr Buchmann (2013)