Women in Mobility is paving the way to raise the visibility of women within the mobility sector by being a place to network, share and exchange ideas.
The mobility industry is undergoing dramatic change and the group wants to help women to have a seat at the table, to ensure transport’s future destiny is shaped to meet everyone’s needs .
Co-Founder’s Sandra Witzel, Olga Anapryenka and Annie Reddaway spoke to MOVE about some of the projects Women in Mobility are working on at the moment and some of the ways they are ensuring more women join the mobility sector.
Meet the team:
Annie has over 8 years of experience in the mobility industry and is passionate about improving the way transport works for everyone. She has worked for start-ups, unicorns, SMEs, and FTSE 100 companies with projects spanning North and South America and Europe. She currently works for TIER Mobility in London as a Public Policy and City Manager and is co-founder of the Women in Mobility UK hub.
Sandra has almost two decades of marketing experience, with a major focus on technology-based, disruptive and fast growing businesses. She has previously worked for start-ups, SMEs, corporates and agencies. Her passion for the transport and travel sectors is unsurprising, as a German who has lived and worked in Australia, USA, Malta and, currently, England. She is now focused entirely on this area, as CMO and board director for SkedGo, a Mobility-as-a-Service tech enabler.
Sandra regularly speaks at major transport-tech events around the world. As part of SkedGo’s partnership with the MaaS Alliance, she is an active member of the working group ‘Users & Rights’ and work stream leader for ‘User-Centric MaaS’. She is also co-founder of Women in Mobility UK, trustee of the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) UK and board member for the Mobility Alliance/European Technology Chamber. Within the mobility ecosystem, Sandra is particularly interested in making transport more accessible and inclusive.
Olga is a New Mobility strategist with hands-on experience in understanding the interactions between disruptive technologies and their impact on mobility and social welfare. She managed projects on new and innovative technologies, such as intelligent infrastructure, shared mobility, Mobility as a Service, Mobility Hubs and smart ticketing. She has thorough knowledge of understanding policy & strategy implementation, assessing functions, objectives and requirements for clients such as Highways England, Transport for London, Department for Transport and various local authorities.
Find out more below about some of the incredible work Women in Mobility are doing below:
Q: For those who don’t know, tell us a little bit about Women in Mobility UK and what you do.
A: The mobility industry contains many male dominated fields, including transport, automotive, tech and engineering. While women make up half of end users, with only around 20% of women in the transport workforce, they are still underrepresented in the roles shaping products and services, and especially in leadership and founder roles. Women in Mobility UK is the first English language offshoot of the established German Women in Mobility group, which was founded in 2014 and has over 10,000 members.
Our aim is to raise the visibility of women in the UK transport sector and improve diversity and inclusivity across all aspects of the mobility ecosystem.
We invite all female mobility enthusiasts to join our group, from students to CEO’s, industry leaders to academics, tech gurus to government workers. Everyone is welcome to discuss the future of mobility and collaboratively create a better transport future.
Q: Tell us about some of the projects you are undertaking
We have organised and facilitated our first in-person, invite-only workshop in London in November. The key aim of the workshop was to explore the ways in which public and private sector companies working in transport and mobility can improve gender inclusion in the workplace. 23 amazing women from a range of organisations attended the workshop, and we are in the process of developing a whitepaper summarising the key lessons learnt. We intend to publish the summary paper early next year.
This workshop was a follow up from our WiM UK SIS panel at the ITS European Congress in Toulouse, which was focused on the gender data gap in transport. Before that we organised several virtual events on female founders in the transport sector, micromobility and innovation.
Q: Why do you think gender diversity is so low within the mobility industry? What can we/what are you doing to change this?
A: There are a few reasons for lower gender diversity of transport. One of the most important is a lack of the data, as historically, data was not collected separately for men and women leading to a male-dominated generalisation. The fact that the needs and travel behaviour of women are different to men has been overlooked for years.
Amongst other reasons would be perception of transportation being a male oriented industry and lack of knowledge of what type of roles women can undertake. Also, there is a lack of women in senior and top management positions. The lack of visibility in return creates a lack of role models – a “you can’t be what you can’t see” type scenario – which holds women back from entering the transport workforce.
In order to improve this situation, WiM UK’s goals include fostering visibility & building networks, creating career development opportunities, promoting inclusive & sustainable mobility, shaping the mobility discourse and developing partnerships across sectors. We run regular events, encouraging open discours, and bringing together mobility experts and novices.
Q: What can we expect to see from Women in Mobility in the next 12-18 months?
A: We have big plans for 2023: we are launching a new WiM UK website, including a monthly newsletter, to reach a wider audience. More workshops and social events will help connect women and create networking and learning spaces. We are also working on partnerships with industry organisations and event organisers to bring together a diverse and broad section of women in the mobility sector – so, stay tuned!
Our membership is free, and we encourage women and those who identify as female to join us.
Q: What is Women in Mobility’s vision for the future of mobility in the UK?
A: Transport enables participation in life. Work, education, leisure, childcare, healthcare – they all depend on us being able to get from A to B. Currently our transport ecosystem significantly disadvantages certain groups over others.
Even though women make up half of transport users, our unique travel behaviour and needs are rarely considered in urban and transport planning and infrastructure projects. Women in Mobility UK is here to help change that.
We envision a future where everyone feels safe and able to travel at any time, to any place, with any transport mode. A future where urban and rural communities thrive because no one is excluded. And, lastly, a future where mobility contributes to sustainable living, instead of taking away from it.