Women use public transport more widely and frequently than men, yet, accessibility and safety concerns may deter them from using it. This gender gap is reflected in all type of mobility scheme from walking to cycling and employment in the transport industry. EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, aware of these challenges is working on a series of innovation and investing in technology to unlock the potential of women’s empowerment in urban mobility.
The the project “Inclusify”, led by AMB Barcelona and supported by EIT Urban Mobility, investigated the challenges and key issues faced by women when walking and using public transport. To this end, an extensive review of empowerment strategies and needs was conducted with the support of the foundation Walk21. A deeper dive into the perceived quality of public transport shows that the European average value score is 6.6 on a scale of 1-10 (mean score, 18+ population). The gender gap was most pronounced in 5 countries with male perceptions of quality greater than women’s in Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden and women’s perceptions of quality significantly lower in France and Cyprus.
The study showcases that transportation systems in many places in Europe are shaped by male-dominated commuting patterns. Women walk and use public transport more and often spend longer time traveling than men. They are more likely to be caregivers, to have physically limited mobility and to have economic opportunities reduced by the limits of the mobility system too. In several cities, technology is being used to engage women to locate where they are experiencing inequity, as in general, most current systems focus on providing an opportunity for women to report incidences of safety and security.
Gender gap in the mobility sector
The transport labour force remains heavily male-dominated, with only 22% of transport employees in the European Union are female. At the same time, women are currently underrepresented both in deep-tech entrepreneurship and venture investment.
With the Supernovas programme, EIT Urban Mobility, along with EIT Manufacturing and EIT food, gives women chances in the early stages of their career to access roles in both the entrepreneurial and investment side of the ecosystem. Investors get the opportunity to access a pool of promising women that will add diversity to their investment teams. This is why EIT Urban Mobility looks to invest in female-led ventures for its equity portfolio, about 30% and aim to increase in the future. Advancements in digital technology offer immense opportunities to address development of new mobility schemes.
Meet our spokespeople:
- Julienne Chen, EIT Urban Mobility Citizen engagement expert, expert in the project Inclusify
- Fredrik Hånell, Impact Ventures Director, EIT Urban Mobility speaks English, Swedish and French
Start-ups from EIT Urban Mobility Portfolio’s
- Lelia König from Dashfactory, speaks German and English. Dashfactory GmbH is one of the most promising European mobility start-ups, combining innovative technology, safety and mobility – especially cycling. With Dashfactory’s Dashbike, the safety of cyclists is improved as well as automated (cycling) traffic data collection. Dashfactory’s unique data platform Dashtrack digitalises cycling traffic and infrastructure planning through anonymised sensor data analysis.
- Bibi Blomqvist from Cogo speaks English and Danish. Cogo is an app gathering all shared scooters, bikes, cars and moped as long as they are human or electric powered, making it easy and seamless to move around cities the green way.
- Urban Mobility explained (video): How to make urban cycling more attractive to women? | With Marianne Weinreich
- Is gender part of your mobility lens? | Keynote by Marianne Weinreich | Mobility Innovation Marketplace (eiturbanmobility.eu)
- Insights into gender differences in urban transport – Urban Mobility Courses
- GirlsGoCircular: EIT Community project aiming to equip 40,000 schoolgirls aged 14-19 across Europe by 2027 with digital and entrepreneurial skills. It has a module called “Remarkable women in transport”.