Keep this story going! Share below!
Commercial Transport Academy (CTA) aims to provide women opportunities to work in the transport and logistics industry by focusing on traditional driver's licenses and by offering an entrepreneurship curriculum that focuses on well-being and personal development. The business increases gender equality through the practice of integration between men and women, which helps break down social norms. Through their programs, they cover the SDGs 1. No Poverty, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 5. Gender Equality, 8. Decent Work Economic Growth, and 17. Partnerships to Achieve the Goal.
Commercial Transport Academy is an organization situated in South Africa. It offers unemployed women in South Africa education and reinforces ideas of self-initiating transport and logistics enterprises, and ideas of obtaining heavy-duty truck drivers licenses. This innovation is focuses on the minority of the workforce, women, since most of the paid workers in South Africa are male, who tend to achieve jobs with higher demanding tasks. As this causes a major inequality between the genders, CTA contributes to a change with the inclusion of women in one of the “higher demanding” industries, meaning more people (women) will earn a salary. This solves the SDG goals 1, 2, and 5.
To create a positive and healthy environment for the students, the CTA makes sure to include morning walks and meditations. This keeps up each student's health and motivation. The CTA also gives students future opportunities in safe and secure workplaces, making it good for them and their families, for instance, solving the SDG goals 3 and 8.
To keep the organization up to date with the best opportunities for the students to develop their knowledge, The CTA uses original concepts to develop new opportunities and methods to solve future problems, continuously seeking new theories and activities. And by partnering up with other organizations, they can exchange resources, sights, and creativity and together create significant changes. This solves the SDG goals 9 and 17.
“I wanted to revolutionize truck driving, because I felt like truck driving was usually the job for the person who couldn’t find work anywhere else.” That was what drove Nicci Scott to create The Commercial Transport Academy.
“It wasn’t a profession, and it wasn’t seen as a professional occupation.”
She recognized that women are under-represented in various sectors, so, in 2019, she had the idea to focus on women. She wanted to be an accelerator of sustainable growth for women in the transport sector and be able to help them build a career of their choice.
The founder wanted to close the gap for women who are qualified but aren’t employed because of their gender. “The biggest fear of a transporter is a woman falling pregnant, and not being able to drive for the time.”
She also wanted to overcome the obstacles that women may face in the workplace. “There is distinct behavior where women are excluded, and it reminds us of the challenges in women being included in the workplace.” And as she said during the interview, she has seen that “in general, women are usually challenged by male dominant culture”.
Finally, she wanted to reduce the unemployment rate in South Africa. “We are in a stage where we know the 51% unemployment rate concerns the female workforce, and yet the transport sector has failed to tap into that resource.”
The transportation industry in South Africa contributes 8% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates many jobs for individuals. However, it is the least gender-transformed sector. In the transport sector, women only represent 17% of the workforce in this industry and hold less than 8% of the industry's leadership roles. Women in South Africa are discriminated against in the corporate world as many employees are hesitant to hire them due to the hirer's stereotypical mentality that women require more maternity leave and therefore lowers the productivity rate for the organization. This results in a gap in the corporate world that causes gender inequality.
CTA is dependent on grant funding on a project basis. Many local suppliers and the US government support their programs to reduce the gender inequality faced by women in South Africa, especially in the transport sector. For every extension, more grants are given to CTA by the South African government. With CTA, more women in South Africa are getting jobs. Besides truck driving, the program also uplifts students’ skills in management and entrepreneurship. Based on the interview, they believe that 80% of the women from CTA’s projects are working after the program.
In the short run, CTA helps reduce the low employment rate for women in South Africa in the transportation industry. More women will be equipped with the necessary skills to survive in the corporate world. This decreases the poverty rate and ensures a sustainable continuity in talent and skills development for individuals in Southern Africa.
CTA’s contributions through their work in fighting against gender equality and work in pushing forward their campaigns of social justice have played a significant role for the business both externally, and internally. When discussing the benefits for the business itself, one of the advantages of this innovation is the improved brand image through social sustainability, which will in turn result in greater brand recognition. Alongside this, the CTA’s work in reducing the employment rates could work as an agent in securing loans and funding from governmental figures in South Africa. For the business, the work in developing truck drivers and educating them adequately can also help reduce the employee turnover rate.
As CTA focuses on developing female employees who are highly underrepresented in their respective sectors, the organization is consistently setting a higher bar in terms of general social sustainability. This is because CTA works closely with multiple SDGs to make the company as sustainable as possible. Their work with social sustainability is quite wide and broad, as they create more jobs in the South African communities, increase the numbers of female representatives and female employees in higher positions of the organizational structure, and push forward the idea of social sustainability, which other competitors will eventually have to follow as well.
Overall, many benefits are impacting the business directly and indirectly, and CTA’s innovative work and efforts in creating a socially sustainable business will play a significant role in the betterment of the business financially, socially, and competitively.
The business is setting an example within the transportation industry that women are just as capable of driving a successful operation. This example inspires other women to join the challenge to change the transportation sector.
Embedding the “women inspire women to lead in the transportation initiative” through three programs implemented at the CTA “Run-with it,” “Excellence,” and “Iron Women” have an infectious impact on the participating women and their surrounding communities. The majority of women being recruited enter with low self-esteem, lack of work experience, and high responsibility to provide for a family. The CTA has observed that women are typically more responsible for their economy and will place their children and household stability as a priority. Therefore, the importance of getting females economic independence has a significant impact on their children's livelihood by demonstrating to the children the unique qualities women can provide in a community. This raises the motivation and confidence of the younger generation to get out of a cycle of poverty.
CTA prepares and contributes to South Africa's reduction in unemployment and increase in gender diversity within transportation, logistics, and in higher hierarchical positions. They do so by emphasizing a curriculum that is diverse in developing both cognitive and emotional intelligence. With a well-rounded skill set, female students are well prepared to enter an industry which is traditionally male-dominated and discriminatory towards females.
51% black females owned, and 100% female operated. They are setting an example within the transportation industry that females are just as capable of driving a successful operation, thus inspiring other women to join the challenge to change the transportation sector.
Get stories of positive business innovations from around the world delivered right to your inbox.
Nicci Scott, Founder and CEO
Commercial Transport Academy (CTA) provides well-rounded programs to upskill individuals in the transportation industry. Some programs provided include trainings in personal development, mentoring, entrepreneurship, logistics, and driving.