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Two-pronged approach needed to encourage women’s careers in railways

Women seeking to build or return to a career in railway engineering can find out more about job opportunities at HS2 on 23 June.

To mark National Women in Engineering Day, HS2 will hold a coffee morning from 9.30am to 11.30am at its office at 2 Snow Hill, Birmingham.

HS2 is currently hiring in areas including engineering, project management, project controls and programme management.

HS2 describes itself as “an inclusive organisation where we value flexible working, opportunities to continue learning and fulfilling your long-term potential”.

It mentions that the coffee morning is particularly aimed at women struggling to get back into work after a maternity break, a demographic also targeted by the Institute of Chartered Engineers’ Civil Comebacks scheme.

As Apeksha Patel, senior electrical engineer at AECOM, pointed out in a blog post for RTM to mark last year’s National Women in Engineering Day, the UK rail industry, which has the lowest rate of female engineers in Europe, “needs to attract more women”.

John Evans, CEO of the newly formed National College for High Speed Rail, said in his keynote address at iRail 2016 that greater gender equality is not only the right thing to do, but better for the industry, as it would allow rail companies to target more than “50% of the talent base available”.

Getting more women into the rail industry requires a two-pronged approach – both encouraging more girls to consider training to be engineers, and showing them that they can succeed by supporting the careers of women already in the industry instead of leaving them trapped beneath a glass ceiling.

Network Rail has taken action on both areas recently, with schemes to promote engineering in schools and include more women in shortlists for jobs.

It is hugely encouraging that the biggest rail project in Britain is also promoting a diversity agenda, and hopefully this will help contribute to real change.

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Robbo   10/06/2016 at 17:29

Hmmm - sooo CUTE...

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