News

More women needed in transport jobs

Published: 07 Mar 2022

A new national initiative, to showcase women in transport and tackle some of the negative perceptions of a career in this fast-growing industry, is now up and running.

Australia’s infrastructure and transport ministers agreed to the National Women in Transport initiative to improve the gender balance within the transport sector. The National Transport Commission is progressing a series a national-level actions as part of this initiative to increase the number of women working in transport and create a more inclusive modern transport industry. This includes bringing together a network of senior women transport leaders to showcase the work of women in transport in both the public and private sectors. 

Australia’s transport workforce is ageing and predominantly male. Combined with historic levels of investment in transport, more women are urgently needed to work in the industry across a broad range of skills and in leadership roles.

Currently, while women make up 50 per cent of the labour pool, they make up only 27.4 per cent of workers in the transport, postal and warehousing sector according to ABS data. That figure is reduced to around 20 per cent for land transport alone. Only 4.5 per cent of transport CEOs are women and the pay gap of more than 16 per cent is above the average gap of 14 per cent.

As well as the dedicated website and speaker bureau profiling women leaders launched today (www.womenintransport.gov.au), over the next year the National Women in Transport program will also publish key transport workforce data and deliver a series of events to connect industry leaders.

Diane Brown, Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications said “Australia’s infrastructure and transport ministers have asked officials to increase participation by women across the transport sector. The National Women in Transport Initiative is designed to drive productivity and profitability benefits that will come with increased gender balance within the transport sector. Increased participation by women in the transport sector will have flow-on benefits for business, industry, and the whole economy.” 

National Transport Commission CEO Gillian Miles said “Australia is experiencing an infrastructure and transport investment boom and needs people with the skills to deliver it. If we’re not ensuring women are part of the transport industry, and comfortable in it, we have an economic problem as well as a social one.”

Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO said “Genuinely diverse and inclusive workplaces consistently report higher people engagement, resilience, productivity and performance. By taking deliberate and meaningful steps to address the working needs of women and other underrepresented groups in the transport sector, we can unlock additional capacity to deliver the record infrastructure pipeline and support Australia’s long-term prosperity.”

Roads Australia will host the launch on the eve of International Women’s Day. Chief Executive Officer of Roads Australia Michael Kilgariff said “Roads Australia champions a diverse, inclusive, sustainable and values-led organisation and industry. By working with our members to deliver industry programs promoting greater participation by women, we are helping ensure our workforce becomes more representative of the community it serves.”

The event will include a keynote address by Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, the Hon Jacinta Allan MP, and Ms Brown will launch the speaker bureau. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring senior transport leaders sharing their views on overcoming the barriers to women choosing to work in transport.


Media contacts:

  • National Transport Commission: David Imber, 0413 274 204
  • Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications:  media@infrastructure.gov.au / 1300 732 740
  • Infrastructure Australia Media line 0428 163 090
  • Roads Australia: Simon Morgan 0403 477 131 

Notes to editors: 
This event is part of the Women in Transport initiative agreed by Infrastructure and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ITMM) in May 2021. ITMM, comprising of Commonwealth, state and territory transport ministers, tasked NTC to deliver this initiative in partnership with IA and industry. The initiative is also supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

The NTC is an independent statutory body charged with improving the productivity, safety and environmental performance of Australia’s road, rail and intermodal transport system.
Infrastructure Australia is the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor. It provides research and advice to governments, industry and the community on the infrastructure investments and reforms that will benefit all Australians.