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Women in Leadership

8 Mar. 2021
Online, from 15.30 to 17.00 CET time (UTC+1)
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The topic
Public transport serves all people, and half of our populations are women. However, public transport networks and services have traditionally been designed, operated and maintained by men, and so the specific needs of women are not always met. We need to attract more women to jobs across the whole sector in order to be more customer oriented and redress this imbalance.

In 2021, UITP is focusing on Women in Leadership, with a series of activities and outreach that you will hear about over the course of the year, as we take a closer look at the issue of gender in the public transport sector.

The Women in Leadership campaign will include developing this debate with numerous activities and outreach.

On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021,we will kick off this campaign by hosting a webinar dedicated to the topic of women in leadership, specifically in public transport. A panel of sector-leading voices will debate and discuss the progress that still needs to be made towards gender balance and equality



Why focus on women in leadership?

Multiple studies have proven that gender balanced boardrooms lead to better results, regardless of the sector. It is not about gender balance for the sake of gender balance, but because generally men and women bring complementary visions and skills resulting in a clear added value.

Leadership does not only refer to the CEOs and Presidents. Leadership refers to all women in the sector who are role-models. At global level, less than 15% of the workforce of the public transport sector are women. You can’t aspire to be what you can’t see: in order to attract and involve more women to a sector that clearly increases the quality of life by transforming our cities and societies, our women role models need to be more visible:

  • A female bus driver is a leader and role model for boys and girls on their bus route. If children grow up seeing both male and female bus drivers, they will not question the relevance of the job for either gender.
  • A female CEO is a leader and role model to all staff of her company. A woman at the highest level normalizes for her entire staff the idea of a woman in a leadership position, especially if she is supported by a gender balanced board and/or top management.
  • A female board member of UITP is a leader and role model to all UITP members. It tells other women that there is place for them in UITP and inspires them to be active.

By promoting our women leaders, we hope to make our role models more visible, attracting more women and talent to the sector, ensuring that public transport of the future counts on a diversity of skills to better serve the whole of society.


This webinar will be moderated by Lindsey Mancini, Head of Secretary General’s Office, UITP


  • Elba Higueros, Chief Policy Officer, LA Metro, USA
  • C. Shikha, Managing Director, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), India
  • Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Limited, UK
  • Michele Batsas, Executive Director, UITP ANZ


  • Catherine Rinaldi, President, MTA Metro-North, USA
  • Tamara Eelsing, Diversity Manager, STIB-MIVB and Chair of UITP Diversity & Inclusion Working Group
  • Karla Gonzalez, Manager for Transport in Europe and Central Asia; Lead for Gender in Global Transport Task Force, World Bank
  • Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General, UITP
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