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Government initiatives to support women in the transport sector

women in the transport sector

This project will identify the barriers to women entering and progressing within the transport sector, undertake an audit of and assess initiatives at all levels of government that foster and support women in the transport sector, and evaluate any gaps identified in existing initiatives.

The methodology will involve a literature review, desktop audit of initiatives and liaison with stakeholders where required. Each initiative will be assessed according to an agreed set of criteria, and then a sector analysis will be undertaken to provide a summary of initiatives and identify any gaps, including at what level of jurisdiction, areas of focus and success factors.

A series of rich case studies will be developed to highlight particularly successful initiatives.

Participants

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Project background

Australia’s economic and social success owes much to the complex and constantly evolving transport networks. One of the greatest challenges is finding and retaining the transport workforce it needs in a highly dynamic and globally competitive marketplace. Australia’s transport sector has long been dominated by men.

Despite the industry experiencing strong employment growth in the last decade, just 20%1 of employees in the wider transport industry are female and the gender composition of the workforce has largely remained unchanged for decades.

There have been a number of initiatives established both by government and industry which aim to address the gender gap in the sector, and this proposal will provide an audit of all initiatives at all levels of government and industry that foster or support women in entering and progressing in the transport sector.

At the inaugural Australian Women in Transport forum in March 2021, the Secretary of DITRDC noted a need to more clearly identify barriers to women entering operational roles within the transport sector, as a lack of operational experience was often a disadvantage for candidates seeking executive roles within the transport sector.

Following the forum, in May 2021, infrastructure and transport ministers agreed to an initial suite of actions including the undertaking of a stocktake of initiatives (Commonwealth, state and territory governments) that foster or support women in the transport sector.

Project objectives

This project will identify the barriers to women entering and progressing within the transport sector, undertake an audit and evaluate initiatives at all levels of government that foster and support women in the transport sector, and assess any gaps identified in existing initiatives.

A framework for assessing initiatives and documenting findings will be developed using a standardised methodology to benchmark effectiveness in consultation between Deakin and DITRDC.

The findings of this research report will be used by DITRDC to provide infrastructure and transport ministers with insights into the current state of play and highlight any gaps and opportunities to encourage women in the sector that could be addressed to support increased participation by women at a national level given the benefits that increased gender balance delivers (such as increased profitability and productivity).

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