Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
Is the railway world sexist?
As a woman who has been working in the railway world for 6 years now, I ask myself: is this sector sexist? Do women have the opportunity to express themselves and fill the same roles attributed to men? Of course, answering these questions is not easy given that there are many socio-economic variables that determine the sexism of a sector or of an entire country.
With this article, and the next ones about the same subject, we will try to make you aware of our small reality, which has 40% female employees, and to understand whether or not female inclusion is still an open issue that needs to be addressed globally.
In 2016, the Women In Rail association, founded in the United Kingdom to promote female inclusion in the railway sector, conducted a survey on diversity within the train industry. The results show that less than 2 out of 10 employees are women and that these hold Customer Care roles in most cases.
Overall, engineering and leadership roles are male dominated. For example, just think that in the UK only 6% of women are engineers and 4% of railway engineers are women. Regarding the train drivers position, women represent only 4% of drivers in the UK.
It would certainly be unfair and unfounded to claim that the rail industry is sexist. In part, the limited number of female quotas in the sector is due to the fact that there are not many women applying for the available roles; in this regard, many countries are working on strategies and programmes to attract female talents. (to learn more, click on https://www.traindriver.org/female-train-drivers-a-critical-imbalance/#)
The power of diversity
On 05.11.2021, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) signed the Women in Rail agreement in Brussels. (https://www.fsnews.it/it/focus-on/sostenibilita/women-in-rail-firma-accordo-occupazione-donne-settore-ferroviario.html).
The goal, also defined thanks to the contribution of Gruppo FS Italiane, is to increase the number of women employed in the railway industry as well as to improve their working conditions.
The fight against wage differences, support for working mothers, the prevention of harassment, abuse and sexist behaviors and therefore the guidelines that companies should follow in order to implement policies that promote equal opportunities and female inclusion.
We at SPII strongly believe that people are at the center of every process and that the dissimilarities between them make the difference between a company that values every single talent, recognizing heterogeneous skills and attitudes and a company that is reluctant to change, subject to collapse, in the quicksand of evolution.
See you next time,