About the research
A 2014 study from the Conference Board stated that industries with higher concentrations of older workers, specifically the rail and trucking industries, will “be at the highest risk for labor shortages” in the immediate future because so many employees are eligible for retirement. In light of current and looming labor shortages, the number of female field employees in the transportation industry will likely increase as both physical and physiological barriers are identified and addressed.
This research included tracing historical challenges women have faced in becoming railroad operating employees and best practices and demographic industry data. The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis worked closely with two major railroads—one in the United States and another in Canada—to anonymously record employees’ current attitudes regarding women in these traditionally male-dominated operations positions. These railroads agreed to participate in this study in order to help identify sources of potential employment recruitment pools and pinpoint gender-specific barriers in the workplace.
In addition to analyzing trends and challenges of employing women in male-dominated roles, this study considered the economic impact women will make by filling more field positions in transportation, outlined how job vacancies should be marketed to gain the interest of potential female employees, and examined how to implement best practices to promote and foster greater numbers of women in these operational roles.
Midwest Transportation Center
Union Pacific Railroad ($25,000.00)
University of Missouri – Saint Louis ($25,000.00)
Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37