With large projects such as Crossrail and HS2, employment opportunities in UK rail are booming, yet the industry is facing a real challenge – a skills shortage and a lack of diversity which threatens the growth of the sector.

To achieve a better future for rail, it is vital to promote rail as a career of choice, to redress the gender balance and fill our ever growing pipeline with the best and most diverse talent.

Currently, just 16.4% of the total UK rail workforce are women, an issue that the charity Women in Rail is working to redress, alongside major stakeholders in the industry, by:

  • Establishing a robust networking platform for women
  • Providing strong support to women through training and its acclaimed mentoring programme
  • Campaigning for the rail industry by devising initiatives positioning rail as an attractive career choice for women
  • Engaging with key stakeholders to promote diversity as a business strategy
  • Celebrating the contribution of women and the business benefits of gender balance

In the past year, Women in Rail has:

  • Showcased the career opportunities the UK railway industry can offer to women and young graduates through presentations at schools, colleges and universities (40 universities were visited in 2015)
  • Held a number of workshops and events across the UK to address some of the key issues faced by women to realise their full career potential (such as self-confidence, networking skills, flexible working and unconscious bias)
  • Successfully partnered 300 mentors and mentees within the Women in Rail mentoring programme
  • Released the first list of the 20 Most Inspirational Women in Rail, celebrating women in the UK railway sector who have positively influenced others in their career

Women in Rail’s Board includes representatives from Angel Trains, Bombardier, Young Rail Professionals, Network Rail, the Office of Rail and Road, Virgin Trains, Wabtec and Women in Science and Engineering.