It’s wonderful to see such an icon of the rail world like Network Rail be listed in The Times “Top 50 Employers for Women in Britain.”
And it just goes to show the efforts they’ve made to improve diversity and become more inclusive as a result.
Which, when you consider how traditionally “male dominated” the rail industry has been, and is still perceived as to this day, is an incredible achievement.
So how did they do it?
One effective way Network Rail have championed inclusivity is through their “Gender Matters” programme, which is aimed at bringing in more women to the industry. Their target is to have 26% of their workforce who identify as female by 2024 which compared to previous figures of 14.2% in 2014 and 18.9% at the end of 2020 is definitely achievable.
Another notable example is Network Rail’s approach to their recruitment and advertising marketing by using gender neutral language in their job descriptions, adverts and overall messaging, combined with targeting universities with a higher proportion of female identifying students in their engineering departments.
These are all fantastic ways to recruit more female identifying employees, but a key issue for diversity and inclusion is the lack of true opportunities for women in leadership positions.
Because sadly there is still a glass ceiling present in many businesses.
To tackle this side of things, Network Rail is also running a Women in Leadership programme which has taken over 100 women through it already. Its main objective is to progress female identifying staff into more senior roles, thereby affecting change not just at the entry level, but from the very top too.
And when it comes to the day to day, Network Rail are making fantastic steps in the right direction as well.
Job sharing is one of the key strategies in Network Rail’s handbook to becoming a more flexible employer that is family friendly too.
They’ve also recognised that many welfare facilities for women across the country are seriously lacking in terms of meeting their everyday needs. And so Network Rail are providing better toilets, showers and drying rooms, all of which are stocked with sanitary products.
Here at Raildiary, we’re immensely privileged to work with women as part of our leadership team. You can meet Emma and Emma in our team section. Their identical names are purely coincidental too - we work with many women across the rail sector, with names that aren’t Emma!
We hope to see more employers follow Network Rail’s example of how to increase gender equality.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
The route to true gender equality in any workplace can seem like a difficult one at times. But it’s oh so worth it, and we all have the benefit of being able to choose to do it together when luminaries like Network Rail are leading the way.
In conclusion, Network Rail's commitment to promoting inclusivity in the rail industry is a positive step towards creating a more diverse and equitable workplace. As the article highlights, the rail industry has traditionally been male-dominated and lacking in diversity, with underrepresentation of women, ethnic minorities, and disabled individuals. By implementing a range of initiatives and strategies to promote inclusivity, Network Rail is helping to create a more welcoming and supportive workplace culture.
One of the key takeaways from the article is the importance of leadership in promoting inclusivity. By demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the organization, Network Rail is sending a strong message about the importance of creating a more diverse and equitable workplace. This includes initiatives such as unconscious bias training, mentorship and leadership programs, and diversity and inclusion metrics and reporting.
Another important aspect of Network Rail's approach to inclusivity is its focus on employee engagement and participation.
The article also highlights the importance of creating a culture of openness and transparency around diversity and inclusivity. By being open and transparent about the progress being made towards promoting inclusivity.
Overall, Network Rail's approach to promoting inclusivity in the rail industry is an important step towards creating a more diverse and equitable workplace. By the implementing a range of initiatives and strategies, and demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the organization, a Network Rail is setting a positive example for other organizations in the rail industry and beyond.