Women In Rail highlight the skills gap within the Rail Industry
15th May 2018
Women In Rail was a strong topic at our recent visit to Infrarail 2018 at ExCel London. The skills gap is an increasingly important issue worldwide and it is particularly noticeable in the rail industry, as we heard from Adeline Ginn at Infrarail in her presentation to us about Women In Rail. Here are a few facts and information highlighted from the Women In Rail talk.
Adeline started off her presentation with a quote from Sharmaine Lovegrove ‘If you don’t have a diverse workforce or product, sooner or later you won’t exist’ which really ties in nicely with Advance TRS’s core values as a recruitment company, and also goes with our internal recruitment beliefs.
It is proven that diverse teams work better and give greater innovation and creativity. UK statistics are as follows with women on the Board of Directors:
- 42% higher return on sales in the UK
- 66% higher return on invested capital
- 53% higher return on equity
The perception of rail as a masculine industry has been identified as a big impact factor preventing women from joining the sector. Women seem to fall into rail by accident rather than by choice. Engineering is often a misunderstood role and girls as young as 7 years old have an unconscious bias misconception of rail. This is where Women In Rail are keen to make a change, helping children at a young age understand the sector fully before misconception sets in.
Here are some more surprising figures we gained from Adeline:
- 16.4% of the workforce are women
- 78% of this number are in non-manager roles
- 2% are senior managers
- 4% are engineers
Some challenges that Women In Rail have noticed and want to help change are Working practices (women might need flexible working and not long days) and recruitment targeting men.
Women In Rail have already started many initiatives to help with this, including a mentoring programme, networking events, networking platform, campaigns, an online hub for women and many others.
This year, they celebrated their first Women In Rail Awards which was a great success with over 130 attendees from across the rail industry. It showcased individuals, teams and companies (large or small) who in the last 5 years have done amazing work to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry. We look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of this!
Advance TRS are committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We are careful to check for bias in our job adverts to ensure that women are not excluded. Within the recruitment sector, we realise that women and men even look at job adverts differently. If a job advert is published, sometimes it can be directed towards men just by the simple wording, which could put a woman off straight away and they may disregard it.
We believe in delivering the very best candidates for our clients. By excluding 50% of the workforce, you may miss out on the best person for the job. So it is our job to make sure we are including absolutely everyone possible into our candidate searches.