Researchers Examine How to Attract, Retain Women in Transportation Industry

By: Marie Donlon

With estimates suggesting that less than 15% of women are represented in the U.S. transportation industry workforce, two research associates from Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University have sought to understand why and to examine how to attract and retain women in that industry.

In a report titled Attracting and Retaining Women in the Transportation Industry, MTI research associates Dr. Robert Bertini and Jodi Godfrey suggest that the factor most likely driving women away from the transportation industry is a lack of female mentors and role models in the field.

Consequently, Bertini and Godfrey suggest that to correct the issue, the industry needs to publicize women already at work in the industry, connect with women earlier, possibly while they are still in school and create encouraging and flexible workspaces, removing the stigmas of a field dominated by men. Further, Bertini and Godfrey recommend that industry employers offer mentoring, professional development, leadership training and family friendly policies to retain female talent in the transportation industry.

According to Bertini, “gender equality and gender diversity in the workforce are key to the economic growth required for companies to win the talent war. It is more important than ever to ensure that the talent pool encompasses all qualified candidates, and women are the largest pools of untapped labor globally.”