Speakers

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Eleanor Chappell

Eleanor Chappell

Head of Micromobility, Traffic & Technology Division, Department of Transport

From leadership training to trips to Tokyo, my time working in DfT has been one of huge personal development. I’ve enjoyed a great breadth of experiences and found the department to be welcoming, inclusive and committed to supporting its staff.  

I first joined DfT in 2017, having studied modern languages at university and worked a couple of years as a conference producer. I started as an HEO in the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), in a role that involved representing the UK at EU and UN meetings, leading ministerial trips abroad and exploring the ethical considerations of self-driving cars. New to the civil service, I appreciated the culture of learning and development and the opportunities to shadow senior leaders.

In 2018, I took an SEO role establishing and managing a review of the department’s regulations and legislation for the Future of Transport programme. It was great to collaborate with teams within DfT and across industry working at the forefront of technological change in maritime, aviation, road transport and spaceflight. Working at pace and reporting to No10, I had the chance to ask fundamental questions about the role of government in supporting innovation and proposing options to ministers for shaping the future of transport for the better.

In 2020, I was promoted to a Grade 7 policy delivery role, heading up a project to collect data from e-scooter rental companies. As in my previous two roles, I only had limited subject-matter knowledge and experience: I was trusted to use my own initiative, learn on the job and draw on the experience of those around me. I’ve now managed contracts to design, build and launch bespoke data pipelines, negotiated data sharing agreements and led the project team through the technical, commercial, legal, political and analytical challenges we’ve come across so that, as the e-scooter trials progress, the department has the evidence it needs to decide whether and – if so – how to legalise e-scooters in the UK.

On top of my policy role, I also co-chair the department’s Gender Equality Network (GEN). This involves leading an active team of committee members who are making DfT a brilliant place to work regardless of gender, through book clubs, running clubs, inspiring talks, support groups and more.

DfT has given me so much space to grow in confidence and to shape my own work and career. You don’t need to be a transport expert to thrive here: if you like problem-solving or working on projects with a tangible, real-world impact, there are opportunities in DfT for you.

Sessions