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Integrating DEI into Your Association: The Case Study of UITP

Updated: Jun 27

UITP's Gender Equality Policy


In this article, Lindsey Mancini, Senior Director of the Events & Academy Services Department at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), describes how her Association created a Gender Equality Policy to promote gender balance. This effort's tangible results and the transferability of its approach earned recognition at the European Association Awards 2024 in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) category.


A group of 5 people in a line. Behind them, the text reads "UITP's Gender Equality Policy". A woman in the middle is holding a trophy. All of them are smiling.
The UITP team receving the DEI Award at the European Association Awards ceremony

Bringing Gender Parity in All We Do


Until recently, UITP’s Executive Board had no women, and panels at our events were dominated by men. With UITP representing a sector serving all of society, this made no sense. Our gender equality policy aims to bring gender parity in all we do. The results are amazing: UITP’s Executive Board is now 1/3 women, the Management Board is balanced and UITP has doubled women speaking at its panels.  


Involve All Stakeholders to Develop and Execute the Policy


This was an internal policy which was drafted with the input of volunteers from our Executive Board and Policy Board.


The main elements of the Policy include:


Events:


  • Commitment to double the number of women panellists at UITP events compared to 2017-18

  • Commitment to only organise or participate in panels that have gender diversity


Governance:

  • Commitment to increase the number of women on our members' Boards and Committees as well as our internal Management Board


Human Resources:

  • Gender-diverse shortlists for top management jobs and gender-diverse interview committees

  • Guarantee for no gender pay gap


UITP Activities & Services related to gender:

  • Commitment to developing activities to support members to address gender diversity within the public transport sector


To implement the policy, all colleagues involved in designing event programmes, panels, training programmes, and those running committees or Boards were briefed and coached on how to include more women.


UITP was very vocal about our targets, for example mentioning our aim to include more women at every call for papers, directly encouraging women to apply. The Secretary-General was instrumental in implementing the policy, being available to suggest women experts for panels from his wide network, and publicly refusing to speak on male-only panels.


Tangible Outcomes and Positive Effects


The policy yielded tangible results in terms of female representation.


  • UITP Policy Board (80 pax): increased from11% to 33% 

  • UITP Executive Board (20 pax): increased from 0% to 38% 

  • PresCom (30 pax): increased from14% to 33% 

  • UITP Committees (all): increased from 19% to 25% 

  • UITP internal Management Board (9 pax): increased from10% to % 45% 

  • Female speakers at UITP Summit (flagship event): doubled from 21% (2017) to 42% (2019) to 43% (2023) 

  • Female speakers at UITP events: doubled & eradicated manels


 

What's Next?


The Policy is an ongoing initiative. We continue to strive for more diversity in all our events, activities, Boards and Committees and there is still room for improvement in many areas.


Considering the success of our no-manel policy, we launched the Diverse Panel Charter, encouraging our members and partners to commit to the same: Click here for more information.


We regularly engage in research activities and publish knowledge related to gender equality in public transport, for example, our latest report compiled in collaboration with the European Investment Bank: Click here for more information.


Finally, we have an ongoing campaign called PT4ME: Click here for more information.



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