Jo Field is the founder and director of JFG Communications, a boutique agency specialising in innovative communications and campaigns, gender diversity and public affairs for the transport and infrastructure sectors. Before this, she was Head of Campaigns, Communications and Engagement at Transport for London. A passionate campaigner for diversity, Jo is a Board Member of Women in Transport. She was named FTA everywoman in Transport and Logistics Industry Champion in 2016.
“…As well as discussing the challenges for women in freight and logistics, the parliamentary group will hold an event to explore insight on recruiting and retaining the best talent…”
Tackling the under-representation of women in freight and logistics
Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum have pledged to tackle the severe under-representation of women in freight and logistics.
The autumn meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women in Transport will sharpen political focus on this issue.
Women are heavily under-represented in the freight sector, making up less than one-tenth of the industry workforce. This is especially true among drivers, where the workforce is almost entirely male.
The sector has an estimated driver shortage of 45,000 in addition to relying on a large number of EU nationals working in the UK (circa 60,000) to make up the shortfall. In addition, 75,000 drivers are due to reach retirement age in the next ten years. Encouraging more women into the logistics sector would help address the driver shortage.
All-Party Parliamentary Group to improve gender balance in transport
The focus on women in freight comes after Parliamentarians confirmed their continued support for improving gender balance in the wider transport industry, at a meeting in Parliament on 12th September 2017.
Ruth Cadbury MP told us: “As a cross-party parliamentary group, we will continue to work with leaders of the transport sector to drive progress in improving gender diversity in this traditionally male dominated field. This will lead to an increase in skills, improved performance and a better service for customers.”
The main purpose of the APPG is to provide a forum for discussing and overcoming the under-representation of women in transport. It aims to do this by promoting best practice examples of employers leading the way in gender diversifying their workforce.
As well as discussing the challenges for women in freight and logistics, the parliamentary group will hold an event to explore insight on recruiting and retaining the best talent. We plan to highlight initiatives that have been successful in increasing attraction and keeping women in transport.
And, as next year is the Year of Engineering, we’ll hold an event to profile women in engineering.
Supporting the group
Women in Transport worked with parliamentarians to set up the APPG in May last year. All-Party groups have to be registered afresh in each new Parliament. So, the snap General Election meant we had to build support and start the group again in this Parliamentary session.
We’re delighted to continue as the Secretariat to the APPG. It’s great to have cross-party support for improving gender balance in the transport industry, and working with the APPG has helped Women in Transport to sharpen political focus on this important issue.
How Womanthology readers can get involved
We’re actively seeking women in freight and logistics to be involved in our autumn event. We’re also looking for examples of the transport organisations that have been most successful in recruiting and retaining female talent. We’d love Womanthology readers to get involved with the group. You can follow @transportwm on Twitter and find more information on the APPG at http://www.womenintransport.com/
Background to the APPG for Women in Transport
The following Parliamentarians have been elected as officers of the APPG for Women in Transport:
- Chair: Ruth Cadbury MP, Labour
- Vice-Chair: Baroness Jenny Randerson, Liberal Democrats
- Officers: Baroness Margaret Prosser, Labour; Drew Hendry MP, SNP; Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Conservative; Jess Phillips MP, Labour
- Members: Lilian Greenwood MP, Labour; Rupa Huq MP, Labour; Richard Burden MP, Labour; Jo Swinson MP, Liberal Democrats