The business case for female leaders in transport

Jun 19
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Transport is one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing sectors for employment, yet it retains one of the lowest figures for female involvement.

Although transport and logistics have expanded by 28 percent over the past decade, only 20 percent of the total workforce are women, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This imbalance has remained largely the same since the 1990s.

It comes as little surprise then that women hold less than 15 percent of all executive positions, yet the benefits of a gender-balanced leadership team have been proven across countries and sectors.

Just some of the business benefits offered by empowering more female leaders include:

  • Better problem-solving and decision making

Researchers worldwide agree that diversity of thought leads to better problem solving. Just as many hands make short work, by collaborating with coworkers of mixed nationality, gender and sexual orientation, dialogue ensues and the resulting decision is more objective and well thought-out than if a like-minded group made the conclusion.

  • Results talk

Businesses with at least 30% women in leadership positions are 15% more profitable, as cited on Diverse companies are more creative, have better brand reputation and employee engagement which translates to significantly increased net margins.

What’s more, a report by Mckinsey found that teams with a male to female ratio between 40 and 60 per cent produce more sustained and predictable results than their less balanced counterparts.

  • Harness a broader talent pool

By elevating women to executive positions, role models are established and possibilities opened in the minds of female students and graduates.

When industries see equal numbers in gender for employment candidacy, companies are put in the position to select from the widest possible talent pool and recruit the best person for the role.

  • Reduce the cost of recruitment and turnover

Workplace culture and a lack of inclusion are one of the biggest factors driving employees to other companies. Networking opportunities and reward schemes in male dominated industries naturally become skewed to a male mindset. Consider after work drinks – while most women return to fulfil family responsibilities, their male colleagues are still networking and building relationships, often with management.

When the interests of female employees are recognised and considered at a leadership level, an environment that fosters diversity and inclusion is established and employees are more likely to remain loyal to the organisation.

  • Expand your skills base

While more millenial women now hold qualifications than men, women also excel at ‘soft skills’- a term which doesn’t do justice to their importance to the leadership team and organisational function. Conflict management, teamwork, building morale, relationship building and communication all fall into the ‘soft skills’ bracket.

So that’s the business case for empowering female leaders, how do you do it?

Critetion’s Women in Transport & Transport & Infrastructure Leadership Summit, running at Rydges on Swanston Melbourne from 19-22 August 2019, brings together female influencers with the answers.

With case studies, strategies and key advice on elevating your skillset, excelling in a male-dominated field, making the transition to leader and maintaining the ideal work/life balance, this is a summit for professional females and Male Champions of Change alike.

Submitted by Criterion Content Team

Criterion Content Team

This post has been written by the Criterion Conferences Content Team. Based in Sydney, we are an independent research organisation, producing over 90 conferences a year across a variety of industries. Our events, attended by thousands of senior delegates from the public and private sector, are designed to enrich, inspire and motivate. Our focus is on providing innovative, value adding content via our conferences and blogs like this are extension of that principle. You can view our conferences by visiting our website

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