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Press for Progress: International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the contribution women make to the transport sector and to also get us thinking about how we can all further use our influence to accelerate gender parity.

I have been working now in the industry for four years; I enjoy my role and the variety of projects I get to be involved in. I feel it is an exciting time to be working in the sector. SYSTRA is a great place to work for both men and women, offering equal opportunities to develop and progress their careers.

Whilst my experience to date has been positive I know and understand that there is still work to be done. Women account for only 17.5% of the urban public transport workforce and hold less than 10% of technical and operational jobs in transport. There is still plenty of work to do to encourage women to work in transport; achieving gender balance and inclusivity in the sector is an ambitious agenda but one that is not unachievable.

There are wide ranging roles across the transport sector; a lot more than many people realise. I believe that promoting opportunities in the industry and the career paths available to girls in schools and colleges plays a key part in encouraging more women to join the industry. We should ultimately aim for women and girls to work in transport by active choice rather than by accident.

I know from my own experience making formative career choices that there is nothing more powerful for young women than to hear first-hand experience from women in business. At SYSTRA we are fortunate to have several female role models who work to encourage potential employees to pursue a transport career and also work to support those currently working in transport to progress and move up the career ladder.

To highlight just a few:

Annette Smith
Transport Planning Sector Director
  Julie Carrier
Product Line Director, High Speed
  Alison Pickett
Associate Director

Leading our move into the sustainable transport market in Ireland
  Caley McDowall
Principal Consultant

An industry expert in the application of social marketing in transport
  Katie Hall
Associate Director
Sustainable Travel and Transport
  Emily Walsh
Associate Director

Leading our Movement and Place offer
  Denise Faber
Associate Director
Passenger Transport


Transforming people’s perceptions of the industry and gender stereotypes is not an easy task but with continued awareness raising, committed action and strong leadership it is possible to remove some of the barriers that prevent the participation of women in the sector.

SYSTRA is committed to Press for Progress.