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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Tessa Wright, Lucy Budd and Stephen Ison

This chapter introduces the scope and contents of Women, Work and Transport. The situation concerning the extent of women’s participation in the transport workforce worldwide is

Abstract

This chapter introduces the scope and contents of Women, Work and Transport. The situation concerning the extent of women’s participation in the transport workforce worldwide is detailed and the challenges facing women transport workers in different world regions and transport modes is highlighted. The chapter describes the structure, contents and key contributions of each of the 21 chapters that are presented in this volume and signposts readers to key material. Although the chapter necessarily highlights some of the many challenges women face when working in highly masculine cultures, this wide-ranging international collection of evidence of the experiences of women transport professionals in both the Global North and Global South also provides numerous suggestions for how employers, governments and trade unions can address, and ultimately overcome, gender segregation in transport. The chapters acknowledge the dramatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the transport sector, while also pointing to some of the opportunities provided by new greener forms of transport and automation, as well as noting the risks for women workers.

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Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Anne Kamau and Tessa Wright

The public transport sector is known for high levels of violence, but women are particularly at risk of gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, from both passengers

Abstract

The public transport sector is known for high levels of violence, but women are particularly at risk of gender-based violence, including sexual harassment, from both passengers and fellow workers. Furthermore, women transport users face high rates of sexual harassment. This chapter provides evidence of the extent of gender-based violence and harassment in public transport, arguing that attention, though minimal, has been paid to the experiences of female passengers, but overlooks women workers’ experiences of gender-based violence. The chapter discusses the role of key actors in dealing with and preventing gender-based violence for both passengers and women workers. It draws on evidence from Kenya, collected as part of research for the International Transport Workers Federation on the future of work for women in public transport, and other published sources. It argues that the state (national and local), employers, trade unions and civil society actors all have a key role to play in preventing sexual harassment and gender-based violence at work, but need to do more, particularly through adopting and publicising a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence. It also highlights the importance of collaboration among key stakeholders for effective intervention and enforcement.

The International Labour Organisation Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work, with an accompanying Recommendation, came into force in June 2021. This represents a potentially powerful new framework for action on tackling and preventing violence and harassment at work that recognises the interrelated effects of gender-based violence and harassment, gender stereotypes and unequal gender power relations, which underpin occupational gender segregation. The transport sector was particularly mentioned in the Convention as an area where change is needed. The chapter briefly considers the Convention’s potential to tackle gender-based violence in the transport sector and how global trade unions are using this opportunity.

Details

Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Abstract

Details

Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Hazel Conley, Mostak Ahamed and Tessa Wright

The focus of this chapter is intersectional bullying and harassment in the rail sector in Britain, where the workforce is male-dominated, gender-segregated and ethnically diverse

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is intersectional bullying and harassment in the rail sector in Britain, where the workforce is male-dominated, gender-segregated and ethnically diverse. There have been significant gender and race equality issues in the sector that have resulted in a number of high profile legal cases. The authors draw on data from a trade union survey of members (Transport and Salaried Staffs Association) focussing on their experiences achieving equality at work. The survey received 1,054 useable responses. The authors have used both additive and multiplicative data analysis methods to capture the methodological debates concerning intersectional analysis. The analyses provided some varied responses, depending on the methods used, but an enduring factor was that older, ethnic minority women were the group who were most likely to feel that they had suffered bullying and harassment. The authors discuss these findings in relation to the limited legal interventions for intersectional bullying and harassment. The authors argue that employers and trade unions must develop proactive institutional responses to mitigate its damaging consequences.

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Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Corinne Mulley

More is known about women travelling on public transport than about women working in public transport. This chapter addresses the latter and examines the barriers and challenges

Abstract

More is known about women travelling on public transport than about women working in public transport. This chapter addresses the latter and examines the barriers and challenges both for women as employees and for employers (usually men) employing women. A historical overview of women’s work in transport provides the context for considering more contemporary literature and data on the employment of women in the bus mode as the mode most pervasive in public transport. Primary evidence from two vignettes from the bus industry in New South Wales, Australia, which draw on first-hand experience to highlight some of the barriers and challenges for increasing women’s participation in public transport. Both vignettes reveal the changes that the industry has faced, as well as its ongoing challenges and the benefits of increasing women’s participation in transport work. The experiences from the vignettes highlight the numerous actors involved in making the changes to increase women’s participation – employers, regulators, governments, trade unions and workers themselves. The chapter discussion provides some tentative conclusions for policy and highlights areas for further research.

Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Jocelyn Finniear, Mrinalini Greedharry and Geraint Harvey

This chapter begins by introducing trade unions: their purpose in representing members, different perspectives on the role and impact of trade unions and the opposition they face

Abstract

This chapter begins by introducing trade unions: their purpose in representing members, different perspectives on the role and impact of trade unions and the opposition they face within the workplace. The chapter proceeds to discuss the role of, and particular challenges faced by, trade unions in the civil aviation industry. There follows a discussion of the role of women in civil aviation and both the crucial role played by women within trade unions and the role of trade unions in representing the interests of women. The chapter closes with a discussion of the role women might play in the revitalisation of the labour movement within the civil aviation industry.

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Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Tessa Wright, Fiona Colgan, Chris Creegany and Aidan McKearney

Aims to present a report of a conference held at London Metropolitan University in June 2006 that presented and discussed the findings of a two‐year research project, funded by…

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Abstract

Purpose

Aims to present a report of a conference held at London Metropolitan University in June 2006 that presented and discussed the findings of a two‐year research project, funded by the Higher Education European Social Fund. The project investigated the experiences of LGB workers following the introduction of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 2003 in the United Kingdom.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was a qualitative study carried out in 16 case study organisations, seen as representing “good practice” in the area of employment of LGB workers. The case studies involved: the analysis of company documentation and reports; interviews with 60 management, trade union and LGBT network group representatives, a short survey and in‐depth interviews with 154 LGB employees. The case studies were supplemented by a series of 25 national key informant interviews with individuals in UK organisations representing government, employers, employees, and LGB people charged with disseminating advice and promoting good practice.

Findings

Just over half (57.8 per cent) of the LGB respondents were out to everyone at work. A third (33.8 per cent) were out to some people, while 8.4 per cent said that they were out to very few people or nobody at work. The research indicated that equal opportunities and diversity policies which include sexual orientation; the establishment and promotion of same sex benefits; positive employer and trade union signals; the existence of LGBT groups, the presence of LGB colleagues and LGB senior managers can help LGB people come out. However, LGB people may be prevented from coming out by fears about career progression; lack of visible senior LGB staff; temporary employment status; previous negative experiences of discrimination and harassment; desiring privacy; “macho” or religious attitudes/behaviours of co‐workers.

Originality/value

Little research exists in the UK on the experiences of LGB workers, and this is one of the first studies to focus on the experiences of LGB workers following the introduction of legislation to protect workers against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in 2003.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Gina Porter and Nyaboke Omwega

Male identity and motor-mobility are deeply intertwined across much of the globe but nowhere is this relationship more strongly in evidence than in Africa. On the African

Abstract

Male identity and motor-mobility are deeply intertwined across much of the globe but nowhere is this relationship more strongly in evidence than in Africa. On the African continent, road transport work has always appeared, in essence, to be a masculinist domain: it is almost always men who are seen driving commercial vehicles, regulating loading activities in the lorry and bus parks (and now the motorcycle stages), undertaking roadside repairs, vulcanising tyres, and even serving fuel. This does not mean that women are entirely absent from the sector, but their place is commonly peripheral – constrained at least in part by hegemonic norms of femininity that shape women’s self-understandings. They typically supply cooked food, alcohol and sex to male road workers, or take on back-breaking work in the lowliest – and lowest paid – of porterage roles, head-loading goods along the road, carrying materials when assisting men making and mending roads, or loading vehicles. From time to time, women have aspired to infiltrate more lucrative areas of the sector, especially through ownership of commercial vehicles, but their closer engagement with the oily nuts and bolts of the road business remains rare.

This chapter draws on a wide range of published and grey literature and some personal ethnographic research from a diversity of African countries and contexts to examine women’s efforts at engagement in the sector. The discussion spans women’s employment in road transport services (porterage, ticket-selling, taxis, buses, Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] and commercial trucks) and the road construction that supports transport service operations (engineering, planning, contracting, and labouring). The authors pay particular attention to the factors that so often continue to impede women’s progress in these arenas. The concluding section first references COVID-19 and its detrimental impacts on women transport workers’ jobs, then considers the potential for overcoming current barriers and promoting a more central space for women in transport operations, a development that could provide significant benefits across the sector.

Details

Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Debbie Hopkins and Nihan Akyelken

Freight and logistics are central to everyday life. These sectors depend on a variety of workers, and the types of work have changed rapidly with shifts towards e-commerce and

Abstract

Freight and logistics are central to everyday life. These sectors depend on a variety of workers, and the types of work have changed rapidly with shifts towards e-commerce and changes to urban logistics. Yet a particular form of masculinity dominates imaginaries of the sector, especially freight transport. Such imaginaries rest on ideas of freight drivers requiring (physical) strength, toughness, flexibility, mobility and driving competencies, as well as being unencumbered by caring responsibilities. In the UK, and elsewhere, the freight sector, and particularly driving-related freight jobs, are heavily reliant on male workers. The freight driver shortage crisis in the UK has been referred to as a ‘ticking timebomb’, emerging from a reliance on white male workers, the majority of whom are over the age of 50. A ‘diversifying’ agenda has been the primary response to this crisis, which has largely focussed on increasing the number of female drivers. At the same time, however, little has been done to address issues associated with pay and conditions for freight workers. In this chapter, the authors examine gendered freight work across three themes: changing mobilities of work, ‘flexibilisation’ of freight working practice and automation of freight vehicles.

Details

Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2022

Kathryn Thory

This chapter explores women leaders’ outward appearance in the male-dominated world of rail, through the lenses of postfeminism and neoliberalism. Drawing on 31 interviews with

Abstract

This chapter explores women leaders’ outward appearance in the male-dominated world of rail, through the lenses of postfeminism and neoliberalism. Drawing on 31 interviews with women leaders in rail, it maps how a postfeminist logic is evident in women leaders’ narratives of aesthetic femininity. Aesthetic femininity refers to women leaders’ outward appearance which they describe as feminine. The research participants justify their feminine ‘work style’ through postfeminist themes of individual choice, natural sex differences, irony, personal initiative, skill and empowerment. The findings also show a patterning of justification around aesthetic femininity that fits a neoliberal self-governance as enterprise, self-flexibility and self-confidence. It is argued that whilst these iterations of aesthetic femininity are rooted in postfeminist and neoliberal contexts, they have consequences for sustaining gendered inequalities and traditional feminine norms in the highly masculinised culture of rail. Women’s narratives, whereby gender inequalities are acknowledged then subsumed into individualised agency through dress and appearance, do little to challenge the gendered culture in this sector.

Details

Women, Work and Transport
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-670-4

Keywords

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