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Bridging the Gender Gap in Transportation: Challenges and Solutions

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Transportation is often seen as a field dominated by men, but the reality is that women face significant barriers at all levels of the industry. A report by Catalyst – a global non-profit organization accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion - shows that only 25.3% of transportation employees are women. Additionally, Forbes highlights a major inequality problem, with women earning approximately 16% less than men. Globally, just 16.8% of transportation workers are women, and managerial roles remain particularly scarce for them, according to the report titled 'Gender Imbalance in the Transport Sector: A Toolkit for Change.’ by Sustainable Mobility For All.


The Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) conducted a study in the San Francisco Bay Area, highlighting the challenges women face in transportation leadership roles. Despite these barriers, organizations like WTS International are actively empowering women through training programs. Many women have advanced from frontline roles to management positions, a success Keolis proudly supports as an advocate-level partner with WTS.


Closing the gender gap in transportation requires collective action. We need to promote inclusivity, address pay disparities, and advocate for policies that support equal opportunities for women. This means encouraging companies to implement fair hiring practices and providing mentorship and networking opportunities for women in the industry.

Moreover, education and awareness are crucial in challenging stereotypes and biases that contribute to the gender gap. By highlighting the contributions of women in transportation and showcasing diverse role models, we can inspire the next generation of female leaders in the field.

At Keolis North America (KNA), we're committed to narrowing the gender gap in the transportation industry through a series of targeted initiatives. We actively engage with high schools, where female engineers and conductors participate in job fairs to educate young women about the diverse opportunities available in our field. Additionally, we collaborate with agencies specializing in women in transportation to further support and promote gender diversity. Our recruitment efforts have been enhanced with targeted interview screenings, ensuring a more inclusive hiring process. Moreover, we prioritize retention through focused strategies, recognizing the importance of retaining female talent within our organization. Partnering with platforms like Global View aids in recruiting diverse talent pools and fostering a more inclusive workforce. We continuously refine our company-wide policies to promote equity and inclusion. Leveraging the insights of our Women’s Employee Resource Group, we identify and implement opportunities to expand inclusive practices, with an impressive 80% accomplishment rate of targeted goals.

Furthermore, our partnership with Engagement & Inclusion Committees facilitates increased engagement, morale, and opportunities for underrepresented groups. Our mentorship program offers valuable development opportunities for female employees, with over 50% of participants being women, empowering them to thrive and excel within the organization. KAI currently holds the highest percentage of females across KNA (52.08%). Additionally, with 52.08% of KAI employees being female, the highest rate among any Keolis division internationally, we're proud of our progress toward gender diversity and inclusion. Through these concerted efforts, we're striving to create a more equitable and inclusive environment where all individuals, regardless of gender, can flourish and succeed in the transportation industry.

As we celebrate Transit Driver Appreciation Day, let's not only recognize the hard work of those in the industry but also recommit to creating a more equitable future for all. Together, we can break down barriers and build a transportation sector where everyone has the chance to succeed.