Women in transport

We want to encourage more women to join and stay in transport through initiatives like the Women in Transport program, which offers everything from undergraduate scholarships, to mentoring, a Male Allies program and targets for gender diversity.

A great workforce reflects the people it serves. Women make up almost half of the staff at the Department of Transport and Planning, and we're starting to see this representation increase across the transport portfolio as a whole.

There's never been a better time to be a woman in transport.

Women in Transport program

The Women in Transport program, the first of its kind in Australia, was initiated in 2017 by the then Minister for Public Transport, Hon. Jacinta Allan MP to address the gender imbalance in the public transport sector.

Investment in the program, which supports the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Act 2020, has since grown from an initial $1.2 million to more than $6 million in 2021, with more members of the transport industry signing up to participate in the program.

In the Victorian Budget 2019/20, $2.404m was allocated to the Women in Transport Program, to increase women’s participation in the transport sector.

The program is underpinned by the Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24, which aims to increase the number of women working in the transport portfolio to 30 per cent by the end of 2024 and senior role representation in public sector agencies to 50 per cent by the end of 2024 and in the private sector, to 30 per cent by end 2024.

There is still much work to do, which is why the new strategy has more ambitious targets and a more robust accountability framework.

In 2020, the Women in Transport Network was established to bring together anyone in the transport industry who is interested in gender equality and diversity. The Network is managed by a Committee of Management, currently chaired by Peta Olive, and includes office holders from across the industry. Network membership is open to people of all genders who are interested in gender diversity in the transport industry.

Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24

The Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24 aims to remove the barriers that have limited diverse gender representation in the sector to improve outcomes such as participation and earnings for women, as well as our own business performance.

Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24
PDF 1.53 MB
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The strategic objectives of the strategy are:

  1. Dismantle the structural barriers
  2. Change the culture
  3. Improve access to employment and career opportunities for women in the transport sector
The key focus areas of the strategy are:
  1. Social and economic development
  2. Leadership and accountability
  3. Setting industry standards
  4. Changing the culture
  5. Community campaigning

Targets under the strategy are:

  • Aggregated sector target: 30% women across the sector by end of 2024
  • 50% women in senior roles in the public sector agencies by end of 2024
  • 30% women in senior roles in operators by end of 2024
  • Maintain 50% women on advisory boards in all public sector entities
  • Private sector entity boards to work towards gender balance
  • Aggregated sector target: 10% per year increase in women and people of diverse gender identities by end 2024 for areas heavily dominated by men as follows:
    • engineering,
    • project management,
    • asset management,
    • driving, yard work and cleaning,
    • technical and trades,
    • planning,
    • data analysis.

Major initiatives in the new strategy include:

  • Establishment of the Women in Transport Steering Committee chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and attended by senior decision-makers and influencers from across the industry
  • Postgraduate scholarships awarded in transport-related fields to a value of $10,000 each
  • Undergraduate scholarships awarded to young, disadvantaged women to study in a transport-related field to a value of $30,000 each
  • Mentoring program for women
  • Engineering Pathways Program for refugees and women asylum seekers
  • Funding for training and support and employment for women bus and truck drivers
  • Scholarships for women heavy vehicle mechanics
  • Vocational placements for postgraduate scholars in the transport sector
  • Partnership with the AFLW on an employment program for women players
  • Outreach program to secondary schools and universities about employment opportunities for women in transport.

The following event will be held this year:

  • Women in Transport Strategy launch on 20 September 2021.

Visit the Women Victoria website(opens in a new window) for more Victorian Government gender equality information.

For more information, contact the WiT program manager.

Women in Transport Steering Committee

Chair: Josh Bull – Parliamentary Secretary for Transport

Established under the Women in Transport Strategy 2021-24, this committee is an advisory body responsible for recommending industry targets and benchmarks, monitoring progress and endorsing sector-wide campaigns.

Current committee members are listed below.

NameTitleOrganisationContact Details 
Alice McDonaldActing Manager Economic Strategy and Industry, Office for WomenDepartment of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)alice.mcdonald@dffh.vic.gov.au
Ellen RuleSenior Policy OfficerDepartment of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH)ellen.rule@dffh.vic.gov.au
Kim Caldow HR ManagerVentura Bus Lines kcaldow@venturabus.com.au 
Fiona Reed Chair  Mary Jane Lewis Foundation fionareed7@gmail.com 
Kelly Maslin Vice President and ED of Operations, People and Place Jacobs Group  Kelly.Maslin@jacobs.com 
Victoria Clift Acting Director of Diversity and InclusionV/Line victoria.clift@vline.com.au
Melissa Hogan GM People and Culture (RTS) Downer Group  Melissa.hogan@downergroup.com 
Elina Islamova Diversity and Inclusion ManagerMetro Trains Melbourne Elina.Islamova@metrotrains.com.au
Paul D'Alessio Chief Operations Officer Yarra Trams Paul.Dalessio@yarratrams.com.au
Duncan Elliott Chief Executive Officer North East Link Project duncan.elliott@northeastlink.vic.gov.au 
Kieran McIvor Director Business Strategy North East Link Project Kieran.mcivor@northeastlink.vic.gov.au 
Antoinette Battista Executive Director, People & Culture Department of Transport and PlanningAntoinette.battista@transport.vic.gov.au 
Brad Giddins Director, Inclusion & Diversity Department of Transport and PlanningBradley.giddins@transport.vic.gov.au 
Matthew Gault A/Chief Executive Officer Level Crossing Removal Project  matthew.gault@levelcrossings.vic.gov.au 
Lisa Ryan Director Planning and Property West Gate Tunnel Project lisa.ryan@wgta.vic.gov.au 
Jacqueline Brotherton Chair Transport Women Australia chair@transportwomen.com.au 
Donna Jones Consultant – transport expert Asheville Consulting Group Donna.Jones@AshevilleConsultingGroup.com
Olivia Jones Group Manager, Legal VicTrack olivia.jones@victrack.com.au 
Bruce Moore Executive General Manager, Telecommunications Group VicTrack  bruce.moore@victrack.com.au 
Jeff Wilson Chief Executive Officer CDC Victoria jeff.wilson@cdcbus.com.au 
Paul Giusti Group Manager Service Delivery Dyson Group pgiusti@dysongroup.com.au  
Peta Olive Chair WiT Network Department of Transport an Planningpeta.olive@roads.vic.gov.au 
Lissa van Camp Director Land Planning & Environment Suburban Rail Loop Authority lissa.m.vancamp@srla.vic.gov.au 
Lisa Maksimovic Director Corporate Affairs Suburban Rail Loop Authority Lisa A Maksimovic (SRLA) 
Amanda Threlfall Assistant Secretary Victorian Trades Hall Council athrelfall@vthc.org.au 
Praveen Reddy Executive Director Freight Victoria praveen.reddy@transport.vic.gov.au 
Adam Begg Chief Executive Officer Kinetic Group Services adam@wearekinetic.com 
Oscar Goodwin Manager of Industry Development BusVic OGoodwin@busvic.asn.au 
Catherine O’Mahony  Manager, People Strategic ProjectsOffice of Director General, Major Transport Infrastructure Authority catherine.x.o'mahony@mtia.vic.gov.au
Joe Monforte Executive DirectorPolicy and Reform, Department of Transport and Planningjoe.monforte@transport.vic.gov.au 
Ben Phyland Head, Rolling Stock Development Department of Transport and Planningben.phyland@transport.vic.gov.au 
Django Love Manager, Women in Transport and Gender Equality Department of Transport and Planningdjango.love@transport.vic.gov.au 
Rebecca ClarkA/Director, Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions rebecca.clark@ecodev.vic.gov.au
Sophie Ridwan Manager, Innovation & Job Creation – Workforce Development & Demand Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions sofie.ridwan@ecodev.vic.gov.au 
Dimity SmithChief People OfficerTransdev dimity.smith@transdev.com.au 
Melinda ButtonProject Director – Business DevelopmentTransdev Melinda.Button@transdev.com.au
Sally van BragtOrganiserRail, Tram and Bus Unionsally.vanbragt@rtbuvic.com.au
Vik SharmaBranch SecretaryRail, Tram and Bus Unionvik.sharma@rtbuvic.com.au
Mem SuleymanBranch Assistant Secretary Transport Workers Unionmsuleyuman@twu.asn.au
Mike McNessNational PresidentTransport Workers Unionmmcness@twu.asn.au