It’s no secret we live in a male-dominated world, and even though there has been a lot of progress, there is still a long way to go. School transportation is no expectation when it comes to this. With only 22% of the transportation sector being women, the industry is not gender-balanced (Women in Transport). Sexism women face in the workforce transcends throughout industries.
In the transportation industry overall, women make up for a meager percentage, the good news? Several initiatives promote women’s attraction and retention in the transportation industry, these include connecting with young women through networking and encouraging professional organizations to give women leadership positions. (San José State University). One of the main reasons there are so few women in the sector is a lack of mentors from other females (San José State University). Which means we have to be the change we want to see!
According to Ashley Fussell, Transportation Supervisor at Virginia Beach City Public Schools, she has felt an increase of women in leadership positions in the industry. However, there is still a long way to go (School Bus Fleet). When Melissa Garton, Transportation Coordinator at Dickson Tenn. County Schools, was asked the same question she said: “I have seen more women becoming transportation coordinators, directors, and supervisors. We are growing into the organization more. It’s not like we’re overbounding the men, but I think that we have become more prominent than we used to be”. These women speak from a position of power and experience as they have both been active in the industry for decades.
In later years we have seen an increase in female empowerment, but we still have a long way to go. Talking about the glass ceilings and the differences that gender discrimination brings is extremely important to see a change in the future.
In 2019 women represented 47% of the US workforce (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is astounding compared to previous generations. Still, there is a need for improvement as, by 2020, only 6.7% of them were CEOs of various organizations throughout different industries (Biz Journals). This means that even though there are more female employees, they are not being recognized with the leadership positions they deserve. Let us explain why this is a disadvantage.
A study showed that organizations with the highest representation of women on boards outperform those with fewer women (Catalyst). This means it’s still an emergent fight to strive towards equal rights as the power dynamics haven’t shifted enough.
Having women leaders brings a wide range of advantages. A study revealed that having female bosses made people feel they had more support in their career development (Center for Creative Leadership). Therefore the entire team would feel better equipped to rise.
Becoming a diverse and inclusive workplace has been proven to be good not only for the employees but also for the company’s results. Having more women in a team might lead to more job satisfaction, organizational dedication, meaningful work, and less burnout (Center for Creative Leadership).
We know money is the focal point when it comes to any industry, including school transportation. Overall, having more gender-diverse teams would increase sales and profits compared to male-dominated groups (American Psychological Association). Also, inclusive businesses have a higher average of revenue (Gallup). This means you could even see a shift in better money management by having more women in your team.
In school transportation operations, drivers are an essential part of the team as they are responsible for transporting children safely. When it comes to hiring bus drivers, female ones might constitute an asset for the well-being of your children, as women are 25% less likely to cause an accident on the road (The Reeves Law Group). This means having more females in your team will increase the safety you can offer parents at your school.
For more facts on females in the workplace, view the Center for Creative Leadership study.
At Viafy, we have seen and felt all the benefits that having an inclusive and gender-diverse team can cause. We know the power and advantages of having women in our company, and we are proud to say we have female-dominant staff. We are proud to be industry leaders on this and many other aspects.
If you are looking to improve your operation, be more inclusive in your team and help us break the glass ceiling in our industry.