Women Working in Transportation
The Sacramento Transit Riders Union (SacTRU), in recognition of March being Women’s History Month which honors the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, would like to recognize the work and role of women at Sacramento Regional Transit. Retaining women in a historically male oriented industry particularly in service, crafts and maintenance job groups is a problem area for in our economy.
At the March 12th meeting, Board Item 4: Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Plan update, highlights several disparities for women in the hiring, promotion, and retention policies at SacRT.
The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Compliance Review from March 2017 identified many deficiencies found with FTA requirements for Assessment of Employment Practices. The EEO/AAP has been designed to bring women and men, members of minority groups, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities into all levels and segments of Sacrament Regional Transit District's (SacRT) workforce in proportion to their representation in the qualified relevant labor market. Women only accounted for 33 percent of new hires, while they represented 51 percent of availability in the Sacramento Metropolitan area and nearly 50 percent of all applicants. According to an analysis conducted of the personnel transactions as of December 31, 2017, SacRT hired 132 individuals, 48 (36.4%) of which were female. During this same period, females accounted for 14 (29.2%) of separations, meaning actual gains in female employees were only 34 positions.
Additionally, women are promoting at a lower rate than men within SacRT. Of the 48 individuals promoted, only 8 (16.7%) were females. This is of particular concern, given that SacRT agreed to a Consent Decree in 2003 to resolve claims and complaints of gender discrimination filed by a group of salaried women employees in the late 1990’s. One of the issues of the Consent Decree was that women were discouraged from seeking training opportunities. According to the FTA report, SacRT has not maintained records of participation in training programs that fostered promotion potential to determine if women and minorities were offered opportunities for training that could increase their promotional chances. SacRT has had limited success achieving hiring goals for women and African Americans in the manager and supervisor job groups.
SacTRU urges the Board and staff to commit to making the hiring, promotion, and retention of women a priority in policy making decisions. We want to see them be leaders in promoting women in the transportation industry.