Women’s perception of the rail industry mean that they could miss out on a jobs boost that will see over 100,000 job opportunities created across Britain’s railway by 2027, the Rail Delivery Group has warned.
In October ambitious plans were unveiled to attract new talent to the industry and secure over 100,000 job opportunities across the country.
But, the Rail Delivery Group recently commissioned a national survey, which revealed that a whopping 81% of women in Britain have never even considered working in the rail industry.
A nationally representative sample of 1,097 women took part in the survey, and over half of the women who said that they had not considered a career in rail stated that it did not interest them, and almost a third admitted that they knew very little about the sector.
A fifth of the women feared that they lacked the right skills for the industry, yet 70% of those polled said that they would retrain for a job that offered good benefits and security, and a massive 90% of those that were likely to change careers said that they would consider changing to a career that required on the job training.
The partnership railway has seen record investment in recent years, from both public and private sectors, and is committed to creating a diverse workforce and increasing the number of female employees by 20% by 2020.
As part of this plan, it will be investing over £350m a year in workforce training to improve employee engagement and customer experience.
Many women reported being motivated by flexible working, which the Rail Delivery Group argues is offered by many roles in rail, and almost half said that it would be in their top three most important factors when choosing to change industries.
The perception that the rail industry is dominated by men has had a negative impact on women’s views, with 11% blaming it for their lack of interest in working in the industry, 16% saying that they would not consider a job in a male dominated industry, and 23% saying that they would not feel comfortable working in one.
But 66% of respondents did agree that more work needs to be done to encourage women to work in male dominated sectors.
Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Britain’s partnership railway is committing to invest £250m in workforce training making now an exciting time to join this vital industry.
“Working together we have an ambitious plan to change and improve and to achieve this, we need to build on our existing workforce and attract diverse talent.
“I would urge women keen to make a difference in a dynamic environment not to miss out on great jobs and opportunities in a sector that offers quality on the job training, great benefits and family friendly policies.”
Top image: south agency