Rail Industry Focus

02.11.19

Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.

It is no secret that more work needs to be done to increase the representation of women in rail. During my time in the rail industry, I have met a number of fantastic rail leaders, who are working to deliver exciting, state-of-the-art rail projects and leading the way in our sector. 

Yet, often some of these female leaders tell me that they fell into the industry – as I did myself – however only once they were in rail, did they realise the exciting opportunities it provides. The incredible opportunities that I myself have been given since joining the rail sector has helped me grow and develop my skills in ways, I would have never been able to do so in another industry.

However, we still have a long way to go to see women fully represented at senior levels. I hope as we move forward and I attend industry events, I won’t have the voice in the back my mind asking, ‘are you sure you fit in here?’. Instead I will experience a variety of people having their contributions welcomed, including people like me who do not necessarily have an extensive rail background.

These anecdotes show that there is so much more we must do to change our own mindsets, and also attract young women who are thinking about their future careers. That’s why mentoring programmes and rail companies working closely with schools and colleges to showcase the exciting career options our industry has on offer are so vital.

I would like to highlight the role of smaller businesses in the sector in promoting and benefiting from greater diversity. Whilst these SMEs can often be the source of new ideas and solutions for our industry - these businesses may not have the resources when it comes to implementing initiatives that support diversity.

However, there are many things that any company can do to ensure it is inclusive and welcoming – like using ‘gender neutral language’ in job descriptions, training staff for ‘unconscious bias’ and using ‘blind CVs’ during recruitment.

If we don’t work together to attract, retain and promote more women, we’ll not only lose out to other industries that are benefiting from focusing on diversity, but we’ll also have failed in representing the customers we serve. As a rail supply community, we need to continue creating a truly diverse industry that welcomes and respects everyone, and nurtures talent – no matter their gender, ethnicity, sexuality or religion.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

View all News

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio ... more >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >