Women Employment in Urban Public Transport Sector

WISE - Results
Sofia Work Meeting

In Sofia the transport companies “Metropolitan EAD” and “Stolichen Elektrotransport EAD” have been visited. The main outputs on women employment and gender equality are as follows:

The company “Metropolitan EAD”

Number of employees: 988
Number of passenger journeys per day: 550.000

The total share of women in the municipality-owned company is 31%. Work positions filled by women are different. They include positions from high to low management. However, female metro drivers do not exist in the company. The number of workplaces occupied by women is fewer in some sections (site supervision inspectors, power supply fitter etc.) and higher in others (accountant, cashier and executive on stations maintenance). The share of women is the highest in the administration, such as the company service departments like accounting, public procurement and human resources as well as traffic operation service like manager of traffic operation, manager of station, cashiers at metro stations and maintenance executives.
The share of women is smaller in the depot where train drivers, maintenance staff, electro mechanics, rail road engineers, emergency repair groups, locksmiths and repair workers, responsible for repair of rail road and engineering facilities personnel prevails. As far as the educational background of women is concerned, 41 % of female employees do have an academic degree (higher education) and 49% do have a secondary professional education.

Presentation Metropolitan, Work Meeting Sofia

The company “Stolichen Elektrotransport EAD”

Number of employees: 2169
Number of passenger journeys per day: 600.000

This company, owned by the municipality of Sofia, offers transport service in Sofia with trams and trolley buses. The share of women at this company amounts to 27%. The positions filled by women include head of departments, e.g. head of operations. 37.8% of the women fill leading positions. Among the tram drivers, the share is almost balanced with 44% female employees. With regards to trolleybus operation, the women share is much lower.

Positive aspects mentioned for recruiting male and female employees:
  • Workplace security
  • Fix/save salary
  • Work clothes and shoes
  • Additional (bonus) money for working overtime
  • Additional money for shift work
  • For women: increased self-confidence in the society through the job

Trade unions in Sofia

In Sofia, there are different trade unions involved in the public transport sector. The “Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB)” is the major organisation, which includes 104 affiliated trade unions of road, rail, maritime ports, civil aviation, inland navigation transport, telecommunications and transport infrastructure in the country.
In 2009, FTTUB and the Mayor of Sofia have signed an agreement for joint action on the prevention of work related harassment and violence against women in capital’s public transport companies. The agreement includes collection of data, preparation of analysis and proposal of measures. Analyses and Recommendations on the prevention of work related harassment and violence against women, based on the analyses, were presented to the Mayor of Sofia, Deputy Mayor of Sofia responsible for transport, companies’ management and trade union leaders.

Presentation FTTUB, Work Meeting Sofia

In addition, further company trade unions exist. For example locomotive drivers are organized in a separate trade union. These trade unions, which have been existing for 20 years, are collaborating democratically. Collective bargaining at the unions aims at improving working conditions. Rules and regulations on the recruitment of women are also part of the negotiation process.
At the trade union of “Stolichen Elektrotransport EAD”, the share of women is 21%.
The women share in the different urban transport trade unions, affiliated to FTTUB is illustrated below:

Presentation FTTUB, Work Meeting Sofia

Employers and trade unions collaborate on plans to realize measures on workplace safety, security and satisfaction.