SA Freight Council Calls for More Women in Transport Industry
More needs to be done to encourage women to work in the transport and logistics industry, according to a report into gender and equality released by SAFC.
The industry is looking to change the perception that it is a male-dominated area, but alarmingly the percentage of women in the sector has actually dropped significantly in recent years.
SAFC CEO, Neil Murphy, says that as an example, the percentage of women in the transport, postal and warehousing sector in SA had dropped by 15 per cent in the past 5 years alone, from 21.7 per cent to 18.7 per cent.
Mr Murphy says there is also a worrying trend in the pay gap between male and female workers, jumping from 5.2 per cent to 16.1 per cent since 2007.
“More must be done to ensure women are attracted to the transport and logistics industry, and once there, are retained by ensuring they are provided with the opportunities they merit, something they may not have received in the past,” Mr Murphy says.
“We need to get away from the ‘blokes in blue singlets’ stereotype and highlight the diverse range of job and training opportunities that will help encourage women to enter the industry.
“The gender and equality figures show we’re moving in the wrong direction, and we as an industry need to take responsibility in addressing this issue.
“Workforce surveys actually show that female transport and logistics employees have considerably higher education levels, so we know that they have the desire, skills and knowledge to play a key role in what is a changing and advancing industry.”
To highlight the issues and the steps that can be taken to address the challenges SAFC held a Breakfast Meeting with presentations by Leed Consulting’s Diarmid Lee and Katheryn Curnow.
Leed Consulting developed the report in collaboration with SAFC and discussed how the document’s outlined ‘Best Practice Principles’ can be utilised in putting the “theory into practice” in a transport and logistics environment.
The SAFC Gender and Equality Report highlights some of the tools available to make the industry more attractive to women. They include job role redesign, succession planning and clearer opportunities for promotion and training.
“We think there is a genuine lack of awareness regarding employment opportunities in the industry, or there is a concern about what training needs to be undertaken to meet key job criteria,” Mr Murphy says.
“The Transport and Logistics Council has developed a career information booklet that outlines career pathways to help raise awareness of the diverse employment opportunities across the industry.
“Our report highlights steps that businesses can undertake to address gender and equality. It also includes career profiles of women in the workforce to demonstrate the diversity of roles across the industry.
“From a training perspective, we should be starting at school level by encouraging female students to apply for work experience and we can offer apprenticeships to female candidates. We should also be looking to partner with TAFE and universities, and including relevant information at career expos.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded from http://www.the-linc.com.au/gender_and_equality.
SAFC has a number of free hard copies for distribution that can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.