The 2024 Empower Women in Shared Mobility Award Program will be live and accepting applications in January! We’re thrilled to be back for another year of celebrating and empowering women in the transportation sector. Every year, this program brings us such joy and excitement, introducing us to some of the most innovative and driven women-led companies and CEOs out there. It’s incredible to see how our network of amazing women leaders grows with each edition.
Why are programs like EmpowerWISM so important?
Consider these eye-opening statistics: In 2018, women comprised a mere 20% of the transportation industry’s global workforce, despite being a significant portion of the global workforce. In the UK railway industry, women constitute only 16%, starkly contrasting the national workforce where 47% are female. Across the urban public transport sector in the European Union, women make up just about 18% of the workforce.
The aviation sector presents a similar disparity: 40% of its employees are women, yet they are predominantly in roles like flight attendants or customer service, with only 2% of pilots being women. The maritime industry shows an even more drastic gap, with women representing a scant 2% of the 1.2 million seafarers worldwide. In the United States, despite women being 55% of transit riders, they account for only 35% of the transportation workforce, with a mere 7 women holding CEO/General Manager positions in the top 40 transit agencies.
A startling fact from Equileap sheds further light on the gender imbalance: in Canada, there are more male CEOs named Michael (7) and Mark (6) than there are total female CEOs (5) of publicly listed companies.
Despite the prevailing gender disparity in workforce statistics, research indicates that companies may experience nearly a 50% increase in profits and share performance when there is a substantial representation of women in senior leadership roles.
The EmpowerWISM program isn’t just about awards and recognition, it’s a movement towards a more diverse and inclusive future, where women’s ideas and leadership are pivotal in steering us towards transportation systems that are equitable and thoughtfully balanced in terms of gender representation.
Before dive into the 2024 program and share what’s different this year, here’s a quick recap of our previous 3 editions:
EmpowerWISM 2021 Program:
- EmpowerWISM 2021 was the first edition of the program. Movmi created this award program with the goal of showcasing women entrepreneurs in the shared mobility space, boosting their efforts, and providing a 12-month mentoring package.
- The program addressed the gender imbalance in the shared mobility industry, where less than a third of the workforce and only 3% at the executive level are female.
- 14 applications were received, covering diverse backgrounds including technology, mobility operators, consulting, EV operators, training, and women’s self-defense.
- The 2021 semi-finalists included BYKKO, an Australian electric bike fleet management company, and GeoTwin, a platform for city-scale decision making in transportation.
- The award ceremony included a fireside chat with Jessica Robinson from Assembly Ventures and Candice Xie, the Co-Founder and CEO of Veo.
- The winner of the 2021 program was ChargerHelp!, an app enabling on-demand repair of electric vehicle charging stations.
EmpowerWISM 2022 Program:
- The 2022 program received 19 applications, with a focus on diverse backgrounds and experiences, including applicants from emerging markets like Latin America and Africa.
- The judges’ panel consisted of diverse experts from the international transportation industry, focusing on vision, leadership, and innovation.
- The 2022 live virtual Award Ceremony was hosted by Crissy Ditmore.
- The 2023 semi-finalists included “Mobility for Africa,” providing solar-powered electric transport solutions in Zimbabwe, and “Nüwiel” from Germany, which developed the world’s first electric trailer for bicycles and the outstanding applicant was “Hydroplane Ltd.,” a company focusing on sustainable aviation and green energy storage.
- The EmpowerWISM 2022 winner was Singe Network – now HALO, a company with a focus on women’s safety solutions when using public or shared transportation options.
EmpowerWISM 2023 Program:
- The 2023 program featured 17 applicants and focused on encouraging and empowering women-led companies in the shared mobility industry. The prize package for this year was the most extensive to date thanks to our amazing partners INVERS, AUTONOMY and the Rideshare Guy.
- The EmpowerWISM 2023 Award Ceremony highlighted the growth of the program over the past three years, showcasing a total of 50 women-owned and women-led companies. The event included a global reach with applicants from continents including North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
- Key focus areas for judging included vision, leadership, and innovation, with an emphasis on scalability, equity in transportation, and sustainability aligned with the UN goals.
- This 2023 semi-finalists included “itselectric” from the USA, focusing on EV charging for drivers who park on city streets, “NINA” from Brazil, working on women’s safety in public spaces, and the outstanding applicant was “Tummoc,” a company aimed at improving public transport usage in urban India.
- The 2023 EmpowerWISM winner was “Whee!” from Norway, offering a cargo bike subscription service for urban families.
Owing to the generous support of our partners, the prize package has improved every year, reaching its peak last year with an impressive array of rewards including:
- Opportunity for entrance to one or two global conferences.
- Featured guest appearances on both the My Smart Community and Byte Size podcasts.
- An exclusive interview featured in ITS International magazine.
- A comprehensive 10-hour consultancy package, tailored to provide guidance on crafting business plans, navigating capital markets and investors, as well as strategies for team development and scaling.
- A full year of support from movmi, offering up to 30 hours of assistance in developing a sustainable growth strategy, enhancing content and storytelling skills, formulating partnership strategies, and establishing key success metrics.
What’s new for the 2024 Empower Women in Shared Mobility Program?
We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that the EmpowerWISM 2024 program will officially launch on January 3rd, marking the beginning of our application period! This year promises to be extraordinary, as we’ll be celebrating the announcement of our winners at the 8th edition of the AUTONOMY MOBILITY WORLD EXPO (AMWE) on March 20th — and yes, it’s happening in person!
The winner of this year’s award will be granted a valuable pro-bono consultancy package, meticulously tailored to foster growth and assist in securing investment. Additionally, the winner will benefit from integrating marketing package designed to enhance their business development endeavors.