Highway Traffic Management (HTM) has recently launched an ambitious campaign called ‘Target 40’ aimed at increasing gender diversity within the company and the wider TTM industry.

This campaign aims to increase the number of women in operational roles by 40 by December 2023, with the ultimate goal of reaching 40% female representation in its operational workforce.

The highways & transportation industries have historically been male-dominated, and the representation of women in operational roles has been significantly lower than in the general population. HTM’s workforce, as of the launch of the Target 40 campaign in August 2022, had just 1.5% women in operational roles, highlighting the need for change and the importance of the campaign.

Seven months have passed since the Target 40 launch, and it’s an excellent time to reflect on the progress made so far, especially considering it was recently International Women’s Day 2023. HTM has implemented several strategies to attract, retain and promote more women into operational roles. These include flexible working arrangements, gender-neutral job descriptions, unconscious bias training for hiring managers, and mentorship programs.

The first and most critical step was to raise awareness of the campaign among the employees and encourage them to share it with their female friends, family and acquaintances.

HTM has been pleased with the response to the campaign so far, and progress has been steady.

Steps taken in the last 7 months also include:

Undertaking a review of the recruitment process from a female perspective to understand the customer journey for new applicants making it to interview stage and how this can impact someone’s perception of the company – e.g. meeting women/seeing women in the business day on interview day/day one of employment.

Creation of a female engagement working group – opportunity to provide another avenue for feedback and way for women to connect with others in the business. HTM has been able to take a lot of comments onboard and create actions following these working group meetings.

Worked with Sandwell College to host a Target 40 recruitment day held at their premises in central Birmingham where female operatives attended to give a real life perspective and answer questions about working as a woman in traffic management.

Speaking with women interested in the role but who subsequently didn’t join the company as an employee, HTM identified opportunities to provide more flexible working hours e.g. reduced the minimum number of days they can work to help support women into job roles on a long term basis, which has been successful in supporting more women into the business

An ongoing journey, HTM continues to work towards its December goal.

The company has made lots of improvements within the business, and has a larger, stronger representation of women, with more female voices actively contributing towards Target 40, providing real insight and experiences from operational roles.

As of March 2023, the company has recruited and onboarded 5 women in operational roles, bringing the total women in operational roles within the business to 9. This represents an increase of 125% in female representation in operational roles since the launch of the campaign. While there is still a long way to go to reach the target of 40 women by December 2023, HTM is optimistic that they will achieve this goal.

Greg Baldwin, HTM MD said:

“The Target 40 campaign is a positive step towards improving gender diversity in the highways industry. While there is still work to be done, the progress made so far is encouraging, and the company is committed to continuing this important work. It’s crucial for companies like us to lead the way in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and the highways industry as a whole must follow suit.

“I’m really happy with the progress so far and, recruitment aside, it’s been fantastic to see our existing female workforce engaging in initiatives such as our female engagement group is already a huge positive action.”

The business also recently celebrated International Women’s Day, speaking with women across the business and helping show the representation of women across every level within the business, from operatives out on the road to roles such as administrator and coordinator through to manager and director.

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