Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector

WISE - Results
Berlin Work Meeting – company BVG

Share of women
At the BVG, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe A.ö.R, one of the biggest German urban public transport companies with 10.295 employees, the total share of women is 17.4% (31.12.2010, apprentices not included) This percentage varies within the different corporate departments between 6.1% (bus driving operation) and 58.6% (communication/public relation department).
The Supervisory board’s total share of women amounts to 42.1% (53 employees with 22 women and 31 men). With Dr. Siegrid Evelyn Nikutta, chairwoman of the board, the BVG has a woman on top position. Regarding the development of the past, the share has been stable around 17%. However, at the beginning of 2011, three women in leading positions (incl. Dr. Nikutta) have been employed. With regards to apprentices, the percentage of women amounts to 15%. In 2010, the average share of female apprentices within the commercial department amounts to 39.6%. However, within the technical department the female apprentices’ average value is about 6%.

Activities on gender equality
In general, the gender equality issue and the support of women are taken seriously at the BVG. For taking care of this subject, the BVG has 11 women’s representatives. Their tasks include for example: participation in personnel measures (choice of applicants), advance and support of all affairs that BVG-employed women affect, promotion of further education for women, monitoring the duty of equality of women and men, organizing the yearly women’s meeting and reporting of activities, lobby work for further objectives of gender equality and the support of women. Among the company’s measures for addressing gender equality, the “Women Employment Scheme” – a guideline implying the following targets – is the most important one:
  1. Equality in case of job advertisements (Advertisements include the remark that women are explicitly encouraged to send their applications.
  2. Participation at and promotion of the yearly Girl’s Day
  3. Special trainings for executives and female employees
  4. Equal occupation of committees with women and men
  5. Gender equality for written and spoken speeches
  6. Promotion of flexible working times
  7. Return to the same job after parental leave
  8. Prevention against sexual harassment

The “Women Employment Scheme”, which entered into force on December, 1st, 2003 has to be adapted and updated according to the current situation and development in the company every two years. In addition to the “Women’s employment scheme”, the BVG has included gender equality (such as the reconciliation of work and family life) in its company mission statement. The company is certified with the audit “family-friendly company”. Other initiatives include: special maternity leave (4 weeks earlier than usual), annual “Girl’s Day” for recruiting young female apprentices, vocational trainings only for women, BVG parental and elder-care meetings as well as a development program for executives including feedback for every supervisor/employee in leading position.