08 March 2019

It is more than a century since the creation of International Women's Day, promoting gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women's achievements.

For me, having a job that I find challenging, energising and rewarding is a personal celebration of the achievements of generations of women before me and of my peers now. Collectively, they have worked tirelessly, even if they were not consciously doing so, to improve gender balance and equality.  They opened my eyes to see what was possible and inspired me to make the choices I have.

As a sector, transport can at times feel male dominated but for women exploring career options, this should never be a perceived barrier.

Transport is for everyone: for work, for education, for pleasure. Often the inability to travel can result in isolation or loneliness. To that end, transport, as a sector, affects every person in this country on a daily basis. Transport is first and foremost about people.

The breath of opportunity for women in the sector is vast – from engineering to scheme design; from planning how people can make the best use of buses or rail services through to managing commercial contracts for major scheme delivery; from working with planners to design communities that work through to long term futures planning – will it be drones, hyperloops or large scale uptake of mobility as a service?

To plan and deliver transport provision now, and in the future, requires a diversity of opinion and a broad range of approaches – we need a representative balance – and women have to be central to that.

Naomi Green is Head of Technical Programme at England's Economic Heartland​