Women in Rail

Getting More Women Into Rail

These are impressive times in rail. The sector is undergoing several changes that reflect improvement and alignment with the realities of the world. Following years of investment and transformation, rail has become one of the dominant sectors raking in immense revenue and witnessing sizable changes. The impacts of rail have been valuable, and the changes are impressive. The expansion and upscaling of rail have presented it the opportunity to foster a more diverse sector that makes adequate regard to gender inclusion. Although males have majorly dominated the rail, it is no devising strategies to increase the number of women in rail.

As it stands, rail is at different stages of its gender inclusion stages. Although dominated by males, the industry understands the importance of women inclusion and values the benefits the inclusion brings. Given the sizable growth levels the industry is currently witnessing, there is a perfect opportunity to leverage the gender balance strategy. The time cannot be more right to bring in more women into the rail sector. The Australian Railway Association has developed a strategy which will serve as the framework for women inclusion.

To develop an effective national plan, ARA held a meeting which involved ARA members serving as the Women in Rail Advisory Committee. This workshop was an avenue to develop strategies, solidify recommendations, and establish frameworks for actualising the women in rail objective. The recommendations from the workshop form the basis of women in rail, and it can be viewed in the Women in Rail strategy. The strategy is a national plan that provides the route to follow, the model, and the performance metrics to determine progress.

Report on Gender Diversity in Rail

The ARA collects data regularly to assess the progress of the initiative and whether the objectives are being met. The report helps to deepen the understanding of gender diversity in Australian rail. It provides a more accurate reflection of what goes on within the railway workforce. There was a survey in 2017, and there has been another. These surveys help shed light on the policies within the railway industry that support gender diversity. The information supplied by the survey will help understand the gaps to fill and the strategies to advance. An appropriate way to make an initiative effective is by tracking the progress and assessing the impacts.

The 2019 survey showed that there had been an increase in the number of women in rail. However, it equally reflected that the number isn’t where it is desired. This indicates that there is more to do. Women now constitute 27% of the rail workforce, a 6% increase over a two-year timeline. While this shows progress, it registers the need for more strategies to deepen the results.

Over 85% of organisations that participated have formal policies through which they foster gender diversity in their workplaces. Over half of the organisations have certain recruitment requirements concerning gender. Through this consistency, the aim can be achieved in a few years to come.


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