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Women Driving Change: IRU New Industry Shapers eye transport transformation
Global | Geneva

Women Driving Change: IRU New Industry Shapers eye transport transformation

8 Mar 2024 · People

Why do fewer women work in road transport than other sectors? How can we accelerate change? These are the questions a group of women IRU New Industry Shapers are set to tackle.

International Women’s Day puts the spotlight on a big challenge that the commercial road transport sector faces every day. 

Transport companies in most countries around the world have, historically, lower rates of female workers compared to men as well as to the percentage of women working in the country’s overall economy.

According to the International Labour Organization, only 11.8% of employees in the global ground transport industry (road, rail and pipeline transport) were women in 2018, compared to 22.6% for water transport and 42.9% for air transport. 

For road transport, and drivers in particular, the rates are even lower. Less than 6% of the world’s truck drivers are women, according to IRU’s last driver shortage survey. In Europe, 16% of bus and coach drivers are women.

While the figures are grim, change is starting to happen, led by women who are empowering other women to join the industry across a wide range of occupations in the mobility and logistics sector. 

Some of these women are IRU New Industry Shapers: inspiring road transport professionals from all over the world who are leading the industry into the future. 

Now, some of the women New Industry Shapers are coming together over the next three months to look at the challenge in a virtual ideas laboratory.

This IRU Ideas Lab will identify issues facing women in entering and working in the road transport industry and those faced by the industry in attracting and retaining women. 

The lab will brainstorm creative solutions to unblock the status quo and establish a platform for women working in road transport around the world to share experiences, creating a community to empower other women and drive change.

The Women Driving Change Ideas Lab will report back to the industry in June.