LAST week TXM Recruit representatives met with MPs and other diversity champions from across the transport sector to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day in Parliament.
Hosted by Ruth Cadbury MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women in Transport, the event marked the contributions of female engineers to transport and the importance of encouraging more women to consider engineering as a career.
Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP welcomed the transport sector’s participation in the Year of the Engineer, a campaign to demonstrate the breadth and vibrancy of opportunities presented by a career in engineering.
Advancing women in transport is seen as crucial to improve the talent of the transport workforce, and to address the anticipated skills gap of more than 55,000 people needed to deliver and manage the transport infrastructure by 2020.
There is also a recognised demand for skilled people in areas such as civil and structural engineering and signalling, and the need to improve capability in emerging disciplines like cyber security, autonomous control systems and intelligent infrastructure.
However, 2018 data from Engineering UK shows just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce are female.
The professional network, Women in Transport partnered with the Women’s Engineering (WES), founders of the International Women in Engineering Day campaign, to hold the event. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘raising the bar’.
The event was supported by TXM Recruit, Engie, and Hitachi Rail Europe who spoke of their efforts to encourage more women into transport and engineering.
These include supporting STEM events in schools; apprenticeship programmes; and re-designing recruitment processes to make them more inclusive.
TXM Group Managing Director Andrew Midgley said: “Here at TXM Recruit, we are hugely supportive of initiatives such as these and take great pride in being involved.
“It is very easy to tick a box, be a sponsor and join a movement. But that is not what we are about.
“We do the basics, but we go the extra mile. We want to very much be a part of the effort to bring more females to the transport sector.
“We are working positively alongside a number of our partners and customers to help achieve this. Collectively, we believe we can have a significant, positive effect.
“Women in Transport requires support and we have thrown our weight behind the organisation.
“The event came together brilliantly and proved a tremendous fit for all present. We are excited about what the future may hold.”
Nusrat Ghani, Minister for the Year of Engineering and transport skills, added: “An important way of empowering women and tackling issues like the gender pay gap is encouraging more girls to consider well-paid, influential careers – like engineering.
“As we see rapid developments in new technology and major investment in infrastructure, it’s also vital that the transport industry and wider engineering profession is attracting a diverse workforce that truly represents the society we live in.
Katie Hulland, President of Women in Transport, said: “Today was an opportunity to celebrate our members from across the transport sector as role models who are making a real difference to the transport we use today and in the future.
“Through our events in Parliament, we will continue to both celebrate best practice in working with women and male allies to improve diversity and challenging the pace of how we ensure the transport sector is a more inclusive place to work for everyone”.