Skip survey header

SUM4ALL Gender Survey October 2022

International Survey on Barriers to Women Working in the Transport Sector

Transport is traditionally a male dominated sector and although data is patchy, women make up around 20% of the transport workforce and an even lower proportion of its management. Closing this gap is a crucial step in meeting sustainable mobility ambitions while pursuing wider gender parity goals. 

Identifying the key barriers that women (and other groups) face when considering joining this sector is unclear and the SUM4ALL Gender Working Group has identified this as a key issue to mainstream gender in transport and change the current paradigm. Many of its members are working within their own operations on the diversification of their work forces and this study will help to identify what can be learnt from their experience, and what is scalable and replicable. 

This project will be examining the barriers and opportunities for improving gender balance across the transport industry through the lens of employment and decision making from the private and public sector. It will collect information from all modes of transport (road, rail, aviation and maritime) as well as subsectors (urban, rural, passenger and freight).

The output will be a practical guide and toolkit to help secure greater female participation in the sector and looks to provide guidance to national, regional and local policymakers, private sector stakeholders, regulators and others key planners and decision-makers.
This survey looks to collect information as input on:

  1. Women to take up decent and secure work opportunities that challenge occupational segregation

  2. Identifying employer, transport authority and government actions that enable women to acquire the skills they need in order to secure those roles

  3. Identifying scope for action and change locally, nationally and globally

How can you help?

We are looking for insights into the current global situation and try to identify barriers and enablers that exist. We want to identify actions, projects and tools being implemented to enable more women to enter the transport sector, improve working conditions and support career advancement.  While noting that women is only one lens we could use, we feel that this would be a good starting point and further work can be commissioned to explore the barriers faced by other underrepresented groups. The information you provide will be treated confidentially and the survey will adhere to international best practice for data protection and no data will be shared with third parties. 

This survey should take about 10 minutes to complete, and looks to gather information on your personal experience and collect information and examples on the current gender balance in the sector and initiatives to help create a more gender-equal workforce. You may also indicate if you have further examples or initiatives that you wish to bring to our attention at the end and we can take up direct contact with you. Examples can be given separately or as hyperlinks. 

 About the project

The project is being undertaken by POLIS, with support from Heather Allen (an independent consultant on gender and urban transport, with wide experience in this field), as part of our role within the SUM4All Gender Working Group. It is being conducted with funding from the FIA Foundation - an international charity which supports in financing and shaping projects and advocating to secure change in policy and practice. Any comments or further information you may like to send can be sent by email to or

All answers will be confidential and not shared with or sold to third parties and this survey is conducted in compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

1. Could you self identify?  *This question is required.

The questions in this section look to provide a general description of the area of your activities and experience. 
Would you describe your organisation as: 
(please fill in even if you are answering as an individual) *This question is required.
4. Which regions does your organisation mainly operate in?
5. Are you a member of a network examples include POLIS, Women in Transport, WomenMobilizeWomen, Mujeres en movimiento?
6. State which network.
6. Would you consider yourself as a decision maker (such as a Mayor or VIce Mayor, head of transport company, or other senior position that can influence decisions about transport)?
6. Does your city have a female mayor?
6. What are the areas of activities that you are involved with (personally)   *This question is required.
8. Thinking about the scope and scale of your personal position and your current work - can it be described as: 

This section looks at international and local policy and its relevance to women working in the transport sector. We are looking to gain insights into both equity and equality issues, regulation (laws, protocols, etc) that may help to encourage or discourage women to join transport. We realise that the answers may be quite wide ranging and that answers may reflect personal opinions.
9. Would you agree or disagree that the Sustainable Development Goals and call to action on gender equality and equity have helped increase the opportunities for women to enter the formal labour force (generally and within transport)?
10. Are you aware of any international policy changes over the past decade that have encouraged women (specifically) to work in transport?
11. Are you aware of any national policies that restrict women to work (in transport)
12. Do you think that there are any international or national policies that are of particular importance to attract women to the transport sector? This may include policies that would apply to other sectors as well as transport.
13. Do you think that there are any international or national policies that constrain or detract women from working in the transport sector?
14. To what extent do you feel policy frameworks support gender equitable employment in transport.
15. To what extent do you feel policy frameworks restrict gender equitable employment in transport.