Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector

WISE - Results
Bucharest Work Meeting

In Bucharest the transport companies “Metrorex” and “RATB” have been visited. The main outputs on women employment and gender equality are as follows:


Number of employees: 4219
Number of passengers per year: 175-180 Mio.

Presentation, Metrorex, Work Meeting Bucharest

The development of gender figures shows that the number of female employees has been stable at about 35% between 2009 and 2011. Concerning the women share per department, 43.6% female employees have worked in the administrational department in 2011. In management positions, the share is 28.9% in the same year.
At Metrorex, recruiting staff is based on testing procedures and not on gender. However, it was said that women are better qualified and, consequently, wanted in the company. Nonetheless, neither a certain recruitment program, nor a campaign for attracting women for various positions does exist. There is still potential to attract female employees by special recruiting campaigns because, among other things, there was consensus that women are well-suited for the jobs in the sector.
Reasons to enter Metrorex include salary, strong trade unions committed to the rights and interest of employees, public and (relatively) safe sector/job.


Number of employees: 11066
Number of passenger journeys per year: appr. 770 Mio.

The total share of women at RATB is 26%, the share of male employees is 74%. The share of women in the different departments strongly varies from 3.25% (drivers) to 82.9% in the commercial department. The total share of female drivers is 3.3%, with 11% tram drivers, followed by 4% trolley bus drivers and 0% bus drivers.
Further gender share per department:
  • Maintenance: 88% men, 12% women
  • Personnel with secondary school leaving certificate: 24% men, 76% women
  • Personnel with higher education: 51% men, 49% women
  • Management staff: 71% men, 29% women
For the protection of drivers at work Metrorex cooperates with a company, which provides security to the employees in the vehicles. Furthermore, there are cameras on every metro station and at the beginning of the platform from where camera supervises directly the doors of the vehicles (metro trains). In addition, incidents are recorded and analyzed with the employees. Furthermore trainings on the avoidance of conflicts are offered by the company.
Positive aspects for the recruitment of women (and men): Compared to other sectors, women are less negatively affected by unemployment. This fact has been mentioned several times during the work meeting and should be used as argument for promoting the sector and its jobs to potential female job candidates.

Trade unions’ activities

"National Confederation of Free Trade Unions in Romania (CNSLR FRATIA)"

The creation of a National network, serving as a monitoring centre for gender equality, has been proposed as a good solution to deal with the issue.

The following proposals have been made:
  • Social barriers need to be destructed
  • Trade unions need to cooperate and act less like competitors
  • Trade union structures need to be arranged according to the members’ and not the government’s requirements

"ATU Romania - Federation of Unions from Transport and Public Services"

The federation consists of 2 unions, the USLM -Free Trade Union of Metro Workers and the RATB Union. The federation’s structure is very complex. It represents many different Euroregions (geographical regions of Romania), which consist of 1 to 5 different trade unions. Within the trade unions in these Euroregions, the women share varies between 24% and 38%.

The federation’s action plans on gender equality include following measures:
  • Setting up and consolidating women organisations at base levels of the affiliated unions
  • Organising, consolidating and strengthening the role of women organisations at federation level with regard to normative and organisational view
  • Implementation and organisation of specific training programs such as: harassment at work place, equal opportunities, gender equality, promoting women in professional and union decision making positions etc.
  • Organizing actions specific to women organisations: e.g. round tables on topics like health, marriage, education; joint meetings with women who have succeeded in their career
  • Permanent lobby for the involvement of women in organisational life, as well as accentuating the promotion of women in union leadership positions

Company trade unions

Metrorex trade union
  • Congratulating periodical meetings with specialists and persons involved in gender equality
  • Considering social issues occuring due to the multiple roles that colleagues fulfill
  • Promoting activities and disseminating anti-discrimination materials
  • Supporting flexible working programs: giving financial support where needed or flexibility of the work schedule
  • Promoting best practice examples and encouraging, especially the youth in involving themselves in union work
RATB trade union
  • Following the appearance of different forms of discrimination at the work place in which women employees are involved
  • Maintaining the collective rights of women
  • Finding and combating discriminatory acts
  • Strengthening the role of women in the union
  • Reduced work schedule for colleagues coming back from maternity leave
  • Supporting the campaign "Combating domestic violence against women" based on: presenting some cases of domestic violence, underlining the importance of acknowledging the situations and how to fight against and to prevent domestic violence