International Women’s Day 2020

March 9 2020 by Paolo Casula

Yesterday, Sunday 8th March was International Women’s Day, and 3 UK passenger trains were ‘manned’ by all-female crews in a bid to encourage more women to consider a career in the rail industry.

This moves comes after 85% of women revealed they had never considered a career in rail revealed a (LNER – London North East Railway) poll of almost 900.

An LNER train from Edinburgh to London King’s Cross had all six of its onboard roles filled by women, amongst them the driver, train manager and chef.

The industry needs to work harder to promote itself to women and create a more diverse team says Karen Lewis, director at LNER.

LNER has an impressive female workforce of 42% compared to an industry average of just 16%.

Southeastern Managing Director David Statham said:’The fact today’s female train is one of the first, shows how much more the rail industry needs to do and we will continue working with partners like Network Rail to achieve this’.

He added that the company has made ‘considerable progress’ in attracting more women to the industry and 20% of their workforce is female.

A service from London Victoria to Faversham, Kent, was run by 15 women, including a driver, conductor and Network Rail signallers.

Getting the ‘basics right’ first and working to help women on the front line of the job is paramount says Loraine Martins, director of diversity and inclusion at Network Rail.

She continues: ‘We’ve made positive strides in the last five years, such as introducing maternity buddying and introducing a women in leadership programme to ensure that more women are being considered for senior positions’.

The 3rd train to have an all-female crew was a GWR (Great Western Railway) service from Bristol to London Paddington.

Happy International Women’s Day 2020!

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