Despite the increase of women’s participation in the labour force, women continue to be underrepresented in certain masculine dominated sectors, such as the transport. Across the European Union, despite equal opportunitity initiatives, women are consistently underrepresented with women representing only 22% of the total workforce in transport. Moreover, within the transport sector, there is gender segregation with female employees typically placed in gender-typical positions, such as administration or support services. For example, in the rail sector, 60% of employees employed in the Human Resource Management department were female compared to only 3% of train drivers (European Commission, 2016). To our knowledge, there are no current transport systems that sufficiently take into account physical and social characterisics of women in the design of products and services, and in fostering women’s employability in the industry. As a result, a multipartnered European project was developed between academic insititutes and stakeholder partners called DIAMOND.
DIAMOND’s main goal is to turn data into actionable knowledge with notions of fairness, in order to progress towards an inclusive and efficient transport system. Building on the lack of fit model (Heilman, 2001) and other theories, the Phd project will seek to provide a novel explanation for why women are underrepresented in the transport sector through technologies such as data mining and analytics, together with the use of elicitation techniques to gather and analyse information from different stakeholders. DIAMOND will exploit such technological advances and innovations, to (i) analyse real-world scenarios where these open issues exist, and (ii) take concrete action, to create a fair and inclusive transport system. Thus, from the lack of fit perspective and within the DIAMOND framework, the main aim of the research is to provide a novel explanation for women’s underrepresentation in transport roles by examining possible underlying psychological mechanisms and barriers faced by potential female candidates and current female employees in the transport sector.