Brussels, 27 November 2017
The goals of the European Platform for Change, signed in Brussels today by the FS Italiane Group, Institutions and major European rail operators, are to promote female employment in the transport sector and guarantee the principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
The project presentation was attended by George Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, Kadri Simson, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructures – for the Presidency, Maja Markovčić Kostelac State Secretary of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia, Mattias Landgren, State Secretary to the Swedish Ministry of Infrastructure, Åsa Webber Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU, Karima Delli, Chair of the TRAN Committee, European Parliament, and Mauro Ghilardi, Human Resources and Organisation Director, FS Italiane Group.
“Today's signature is another important step on the pathway initiated by FS Italiane to support female employment in a concrete way, especially in sectors that are still dominated by men. This is not just an ethical issue: it can also represent a driver of economic growth for our country and for the whole of Europe,” said Mauro Ghilardi, Human Resources and Organisation Director of the FS Italiane Group.
The Platform, developed by the European Economic and Social Committee in cooperation with the European Commission, will enable stakeholders from all transport sectors to share their initiatives and gender equality measures, describing the best practices introduced and the results achieved.
Only 22% of the European workforce in the transport sector is currently female.
“An unsatisfactory figure,” commented Ghilardi, “reflecting the general situation of female employment in Italy, where there is a 13.2 point gap from the European average” (ISTAT data 2016). “We have put several initiatives in place to reverse this trend, starting by introducing a policy that will require all Group companies to activate selection processes that include 50% of female candidates, according to a principle of comply or explain,” Ghilardi continued.
In order to monitor and periodically assess the progress and impact of the actions taken, the EU Platform for Change will look at factors such as remuneration, career prospects, appropriate working environment and facilities, balance between professional and private life, skills development and fair and transparent recruitment processes.
“We need to work to break down stereotypes related to female employment, starting from school. With Women in Motion, our diversity campaign, we visited and continue to visit technical institutes and middle schools to present our industry to female students. In 2018, we will also visit primary schools. Thanks to this initiative, in a few months, the number of female candidates with a technical diploma rose by 50%,” concluded Ghilardi.