Lack of gender diversity in the workplace is an ongoing problem where women are facing several challenges and issues. From the outside, the parking industry looks like a very “male-dominated” industry. From parking suppliers and operators to parking technology providers, we see little representation of women in senior roles within these areas. There has been some progress in recent years as we see more women progressing into senior management roles, which is particularly noticeable in the public sector. However, we still need to ask, what more could the industry do to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace?
Safety Concerns Overlooked?
The lack of gender diversity in any industry can result in many oversights of fundamental problems. Studies have found that companies with better representation of women in leadership roles have stronger performances. There are many cases in history where safety concerns were left overlooked due to being designed by men, for men. For example, car safety. Studies have shown that men are more likely to be involved in a car accident; however, when a woman is involved in a car accident, she is 47% more likely to be seriously injured. This statistic comes down to who the car is designed for and by whom.
Crash Test Dummies
When cars undergo crash testing, the crash dummies used are designed based on male proportions. This does not consider how safe the vehicle would for a woman in the accident. The first test dummy ever used was in the 1950s. However, it took to 2003 for a female dummy to be actioned. This dummy finally showing how a car accident would impact a female body type over a male. However, companies have no legal requirement to use male and female dummies when testing their cars. So why did it take so long for companies to change their position on crash testing? Not creating a diverse management team means not having different opinions contributing to the decision-making process, allowing oversights to happen.
Lack of Gender Diversity in Parking
So why is the parking industry facing an underrepresentation of women? Areas within the sector need to start making gender diversity a top priority. Investing in training and recruitment can help break down the barriers and overcome stereotypes. Unfortunately, its things like this within the workplace that contribute to the lack of diversity. One of the main ways any company can overcome the lack of diversity is in its recruitment. Tailoring job advertisements towards women encourage more women to apply and ensures fair recruitment practices are in place. Furthermore, including women in the hiring process will make applicants feel they will fit into the workplace.
Providing relevant diversity training and available workshops for all employees helps attract a diverse workforce. Advertising your company as one that champions women and other cultures encourages more people to apply and helps retain current employees. Such initiatives will go a long way to demonstrate how valued inclusion is within your company, which would ultimately benefit the parking industry to feel more inclusive for women.
Join the Gender Diversity Conversation
Several Women in Parking groups help women share their knowledge and experience and support others. They are not just inclusive to women but invite men to join the conversation with a critical focus on promoting gender diversity in the industry. Women in Parking (WIP), founded in 2011, dedicates itself to promoting the advancement and achievement of professional women within the industry. Membership for this association grows yearly, allowing women to network, attend webinars and join a mentorship programme.
Gender Diversity in the BPA
Another group is within the British Parking Association (BPA), which aim is to actively promote, represent and raise women’s profile in the UK parking sector. Founded in September 2020, its main effort is to ensure diversity and inclusivity within the UK. The parking industry will benefit from this and it should encourage women within the parking community. Currently, they are focusing on equality and diversity research, tackling violence against women and growing their community. The group meets several times a year and openly encourages anyone to join. They hold different events throughout the year and award ceremonies to celebrate individuals’ success.
These groups have elevated women’s profiles within the industry and encouraged women to take on more senior roles. This advancement is the type of representation the industry needs to inspire other women to join and make the industry more diverse and inclusive. Furthermore, companies need to ensure they put the appropriate practices in place to ensure women feel valued in the industry. Creating an inclusive sector is essential; currently, the parking industry seems to be on track to a more represented workforce.