More than half (56%) of the women who had not considered a career in rail stated the industry did not interest them despite nearly a third (28%) admitting that they hadn’t considered it as they know little about the sector. Furthermore, the survey of 1,097 women (a nationally representative sample), conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Rail Delivery Group, revealed a fifth (23%) of respondents feared they lacked the right skills for the industry.
However, more than two thirds (70%) of female workers polled admitted they would retrain for a job that offered great benefits and security, and 90% of women that are likely to change careers revealed they would consider changing to a career that would require on the job training.
Britain's partnership railway has seen record investment in recent years from the public and private sectors, and is committed to creating a diverse workforce and increasing the number of women employees by 20% by 2020. As part of its ambitious plan to change and improve, the partnership railway will be investing more than £250m per year in workforce training to improve employee engagement and customer experience.
The survey found many women are motivated by flexible working, something that is offered by many roles in rail, with 48% admitting it would be in their top three most important factors when choosing a new career in a different industry.
The perception of rail as an industry dominated by men had a negative impact on women’s views with 11% blaming it for their lack of interest in working in rail, 16% said they would not consider a job in a male dominated industry and 23% stated they wouldn’t feel comfortable working in one. However, 66% of respondents agreed more needed to be done to encourage women to work in male dominated sectors.
Eleanor Gregory, Revenue Protection Office at Dartford, said: “I joined Southeastern in March 2017 after working in a betting shop for four years. Both my father and aunt work for the railway, and they've never looked back. I really enjoy working at Dartford, getting to know the team and working together to ensure the safety of our passengers. My job isn't just about checking tickets - we help with the gateline, on the platform, in the ticket office and with customer service. I'm looking forward to the rest of my career with Southeastern."
Sera Rowe, Team Leader in Southeastern's Eyewitness CCTV team, said: "I've worked for Southeastern for 10 years, and was previously employed in the food industry. I worked my way up to Team Leader within two years, and now i'm part of the Eyewitness CCTV team based in our Control Centre. We provide support to our colleagues at stations and on trains who're tackling ticket fraud, as well as a range of other security and safety issues on the railway. I really enjoy working for Southeastern, and the employees are just as important as our passengers."
Lauren McQuillan, Revenue Protection Officer at London Bridge, said: "I've worked for Southeastern for nearly eight years, and applied when I saw the position advertised in my local newspaper. My previous job was as a database administrator, and the role at Southeastern looked really different to most of the other jobs. I hadn't really thought about a career on the railway before then, but I really enjoy my job and every day is different. As a railway employee, our positions and departments don't define us - we're part of a bigger picture and we all much in to help one another. They say if you stay a year on the railway, then you'll be there for the rest of your life!"
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