• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The Power of Diversity in Transport Tech

The Power of Diversity in Transport Tech

Transportation technology, once a world dominated by traditional infrastructure, has now become a hotbed of innovation driven by technology such as autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, and advanced driver assistance systems. While these advancements have reshaped the industry, it is the evolution of gender diversity that has the potential to revolutionize it further.

The transportation technology sector plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of mobility. However, without adequate gender equity, there is a risk of overlooking critical aspects of safety and accessibility. Increased ideation, differing viewpoints, and fresh perspectives and ideas can be extremely powerful for organizations in the transportation technology industry that need new solutions to age-old challenges.

The Impact of Diverse Leadership

Diversity at the C-level is not merely a buzzword; it is a game-changer. While the transportation tech industry often sees male executives at the helm, there is a wealth of talented women who are subject matter experts at various levels.

According to the McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace 2023 study, the transportation, logistics, and infrastructure industry does not struggle as much as other sectors with attracting women to entry-level positions (48% of the workforce), but the talent pipeline decreases with each next career step. It clearly demonstrates the infamous “broken rung,” the greatest obstacle women face in progressing their careers to the C-suite—women are represented in only 37% of the first-tier managerial positions, a whopping 11% drop from the entry-level positions.

Not surprisingly, with the talent pipeline drying up through the next career levels, only 28% of women advance to the senior vice president level, and only 25% reach the C-suite.

It is without any doubt that there needs to be more women in this industry sector. However, the statistics from the 2023 study reviewed in isolation paint only part of the picture.

If we analyze the Women in the Workplace study data over the past seven years, we encounter some fascinating findings. In my current company, women in leadership positions represent 43%, and we always strive to hire and promote from within. We value open communications and diverse opinions that demonstrate direct results on the company’s productivity and continual growth.

Next Steps

The 2019 Attracting and Retaining Women in Transportation study, published by Mineta Transportation Institute, zeroes in on 11 initiatives that can improve women’s representation in the industry. There are three focus areas:

1. Attract suitable candidates, expanding the talent pool.

2. Retain talent by fostering an inclusive work environment, providing mentorship, educational support, a flexible work environment, and promoting without conscious or unconscious bias.

3. Nurture a diverse workforce, enabling them to evangelize on the organization’s behalf to attract new candidates, including younger generations, to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Girls who witness women thriving in this field are more likely to pursue careers in STEM themselves.

Gender diversity in the transportation technology sector is not just about optics; it is about achieving lasting change and innovation. By breaking down barriers, we can shape a landscape that serves all communities and sets the standard for global innovation.

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