To celebrate International Women's Day 2019, we partnered with Women in Transport and asked their community:
"What's the one piece of advice you would pass on to a woman who is either starting or changing her career to the transport sector?"
We are thrilled to share these inspiring quotes with our audience of smart women, who are either looking for work in transport or are interested in the sector. We want to encourage and inspire you to achieve great things, whether you're starting out, changing careers or trying to find a manageable work/life balance.
Sonya Veerasamy Interim CEO, Women in Transport
Be open to the opportunities – a career in transport is full of possibility and you can make a difference. It’s an exciting, agile and varied sector. Build a support network, ask for help when you need it and support others if you can.
Harriet Glen, Reliability Improvement Manager, Transport for London
Make a habit of learning from inspiring people around you by regularly seeking out advice as you navigate your way through your career. I’ve found that sharing problems and talking through options with others always brings clarity when you need it most. Most importantly, always give back to others who reach out to you in return!
Alero Abbey, Area Manager, Green Park and Euston, London Underground
Be bold, see your mistakes as your stepping stones. Be the difference you want to see. Never drift from your vision, be determined to leave your mark wherever you go.
Fran Williams, Head of HR, XPO Logistics Europe
Bringing alternative views on how to solve the challenges presented can be a great asset – providing a different perspective, can often yield better results when challenging the norm.
Susan Claris Transport Planner, Arup
The transport sector needs more diversity and offers fantastic opportunities to shape our communities, towns and cities to make them better for everyone. If you see something that you think isn’t right – in the built environment, in our transport systems or in colleagues’ behaviour – that is an opportunity to change and improve things.
Charlotte Linford, Senior recruitment Consultant, DriveForce
When I went into transport recruitment I had no idea what a class 1 driver or a HIAB was. For me, it was finding out as much as could to separate myself from the norm. Anyone can sell a driver to a company but know what your talking about and really understand the importance of transport and logistics. Transport is predominantly male orientated and takes a certain personality to get out there and just do it. I feel as a women in the transport sector knowledge is key! Know your stuff.
Jane Fisher, Transition and Projects Director, West Midlands Trains
My advice would be to make as many connections as possible. You never know when you might want to turn to them for advice or a job. There are many transferable skills such as writing a good business case, delivering a presentation and good line management. Have confidence in yourself!
Anna Delvecchio Commercial Account Director, Amey
My motto is the ‘impossible is definitely possible’. I would urge women to grow their network (inside and outside of their organisations) and to find a mentor/s. Consider the opportunities in front of you – you don’t need to feel under pressure to get promotions quickly – side steps or secondments can be invaluable. Look at joining industry groups or institutions to gain further professional development.
Jennifer Scott, Transport Recruiter, PeopleScout
This year I have recruited many women into several rail project management roles, however we would love to see more women track engineers and train drivers! Believe in your own ability, ensure your voice is heard and network, network, network! Remember that it is a small industry and perception is important. Role models play a pivotal part in attracting and retaining women in this industry – go and be one!
Sarah Walker, Deputy IT Director, XPO Logistics Europe
As a woman, I don’t believe I have unique gender based skills that I would call a specific asset or that particularly differentiate me from a man – that seems an old school way of thinking. I simply think that our company benefits from having talent and diversity across its workforce to encourage a diversity of thinking and problem solving – and this will create the best solutions for our business and our customers.
Victoria Garcia Accessibility & Communities Manager, Brighton & Hove Buses
Trust in your colleagues but most of all, trust and believe in yourself and the contribution you make. Gone are the days when the transport industry was a male domain. Now, it's everyday women like you and I who are changing things up, pushing open doors and generating amazing opportunities.
Sharon Daly Chief Operating Officer, Steer
Working in the transport industry gives you the opportunity to channel your curiosity about the world we live in to make a genuine difference. At Steer, I’ve also had the flexibility of consultancy work, which has provided that opportunity, reward and work-life balance in my career.
Lauren Sager Weinstein Chief Data Officer, Transport for London
At its heart, transport is about building connections for people, whether they’re travelling for work, school or leisure, so that cities can flourish. Working in the transport industry is fantastic - I help Londoners and have a role in shaping our cities’ future. My advice: 'Remember transport’s core purpose and be inspired as you go forward!'.
Audrey Ezekwesili Director, Facilitate4Me
Look beyond the ‘unsexy’ packaging. The transport sector provides a diverse range of careers and opportunities for any woman passionate about making a contribution to things that matter to us: connectivity.
Jannette Wallace Depot Manager at Downton
Downton recognised many years ago that this industry required more woman to get involved, and from my experience this has gone on to be proven tenfold. All you require is confidence in your own ability, and you should never feel that no one wants to hear what you have to say. So push yourself forward and don’t allow yourself to be pushed aside.
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