Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector
WISE - Executive Summaries in different languages available

Additionally to the comprehensive Project Report in English published some months ago, you can download the Executive Summaries of the Project Report (PDF-Files, 1,8 MB) in These summaries comprise the key results on Women Employment and gender equality in European public transport companies, associations and trade unions.
For downloading the documents, please click on the corresponding language

WISE Project Report

After 1,5 years of intensive project work on “Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector” we are pleased to present the Final Project Report in English containing the most important results on Women Employment and gender equality in European public transport companies, associations and trade unions.

You can download the file here (PDF, 4,6 MB).

WISE - Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector

We are happy to present you our european project WISE, whose realisation has been agreed between the social partners of the Urban Public Transport Sector. It is designated in the work programme of the European Social Dialogue and is funded by the EU-commission. All activities realized in the project will contribute to a better repre­sentation and integration of women in the urban public transport sector. The project is running from December 2010 until March 2012.
All activities realized in the WISE-project are carried out by the project partners UITP – International Association of Public Transport, ETF – European Transport Worker`s Federation and the Akademie of Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV-Akademie).

Equal opportunities in Europe
The issue of equal opportunities, in this case the better representation and integration of women in companies of the local public transport sector, is widely reflected in the fundamental documentation of the European Union, starting from the EEC Treaty, to the Treaties of Maastricht and of Amsterdam. Recently, the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment marked an important stage of this positive path making provisions for an increase of female employment rate to 60% by the year 2010 which is nearly achieved today, but the 60 % in Europe varies between Member States, from below 40 % to above 70 %.
Also the successor of the Lisbon Strategy and the Commission's Communication on the Renewed Social Agenda (Renewed Social Agenda: Opportunities, access and solidarity in 21st century Europe, COM(2008) 412 final, 2 July 2008) include several objectives like measures addressing modernisation of the labour market, quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change, flexicurity, mobility and migration, youth employment, contributions to the health and safety strategy, reconciliation of work and family life, gender equality, action in the field of antidiscrimination, active ageing, active inclusion and decent work.

The Public Transport Sector in Europe
The public transport is of central importance to the economic strength of Europe. It is a provision for elementary requirements embodied in the law, it relieves the individual motor traffic and thus reduces the harmful substances in the environment. The public transport is a condition for the real usage of an increasing life standard and a condition for the realisation of professional possibilities. The economic value of public transport services, including those provided by operators and organising authorities, is estimated at between 130-150 billion EUR per year. Public transport operators directly employ 1.2 million persons and for every direct job in public transport 2 to 2.5 indirect jobs typically exist. The sector is still male-dominated: most employees, especially among the drivers, are men, they account for about 90% of the drivers employed.
In total, 60 billion passenger journeys are made by public transport every year. Furthermore, the public transport sector is important for the prospering development of agglomerations, as well as social inclusion within and outside of agglomerations, which contribute substantially to sustainable employment in Europe.

Strategy and objectives of WISE
A strategy that still aims at increasing the labour force participation of women within public transport is beneficial for several reasons:
  • increase in productivity due to improved work-life balance and thus more efficient strategies for flexibility when based on social dialogue;
  • thus improvement of working conditions for both, men and women also due to health and safety at work considerations and work culture;
  • access to new potentials for recruiting skilled staff and women in management positions;
  • higher security within public transport due to the deescalating effect of women;
  • increase in the service quality due to better fulfilment of the customer requirements, e.g. of the female passengers.
In detail, WISE has the following objectives:
  1. Better access of women to all public transport professions, including the technical ones and management functions;
  2. Better workplace safety and security, to allow women opt for all work shifts;
  3. Equal access to training;
  4. Better workplace culture to accommodate the needs of both women and men;
  5. Better work-life balance for both, men and women;
  6. Thorough implementation of relevant EU equal opportunities’ legislation in the transport sector.
Outcomes of the Project
The following outcomes of the project are expected:
  • Recommendations signed by the Social Partners in the urban public transport sector regarding women em­ployment,
  • An Action Guideline “Women in Transport Professions” for decision-makers in companies, trade unions and employer associations, containing the results of the project (quantitative / qualitative studies etc.) and information on good practice examples from several companies,
  • Additionally, as follow-up of the project, it is aimed to organize a conference on the topic of women employment strategy in public transport sector and to set-up a European network “Women in Transport Professions”. The aim of such a conference would be
    - exchange of experience of the single social partners in the various member states,
    - learning from the best
    - harmonization within the European Union.