UITP - International Association of Public Transport

Belgium: UITP and ETF Unite to Promote Women's Employment in Urban Public Transport

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) April 8 signed a landmark agreement to strengthen women's employment in urban public transport. 

In the presence of Isabelle Durant, vice president of the European Parliament, UITP and ETF signed a series of joint recommendations aimed at increasing the share of female employees in urban public transport, from the current average of 17.5 percent to at least 25 percent by 2020 and at least 40 percent by 2035.

The European social partners’ recommendations encourage public transport stakeholders to address the barriers to the sector faced by women (the most common of which are gender stereotypes) by: developing women-friendly recruitment, training and retention policies that offer clear objectives and development opportunities; offering variable and suitable working conditions for a better reconciliation of work and social life ; analyzing the scale of the salary gap between men and women and tackling the effects of a masculine working culture.    

“The signing of these joint recommendations is a landmark occasion in the development of women’s employment in urban public transport and will help the sector to catch up with other sectors in this respect. More women in typically male-dominated sectors generally improves working conditions for all and offers wider skill sets for employers,” said Nicolas Blain, Chair of the UITP EU-Committee.

“The European social partners appeal to all companies’ decision makers to invest more in policies that aid the development of women’s careers in both management and operations to avoid the ‘glass ceiling effect,” said Alain Sutour, chairman of the ETF Urban Public Transport Committee. “Such policies should be guided by the principle of equal opportunities and ‘gender mainstreaming’”.     

UITP and ETF will promote these joint recommendations and commit to monitoring their implementation.