January 21, 2014

Women underrepresented in Europe's rail industry, says report

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THE percentage of women working in Europe's rail industry remains static at around 20%, and females are still underrepresented in technical roles, according to the findings of the first annual review of women employment of Europe's railways, which was published on January 21.

The report, which was commissioned by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) surveyed 24 companies from 19 countries. It found that while women account for 18% of positions with managerial responsibilities, they represent just 1.4% of train drivers.

The figures also show a distinct east-west divide in engineering roles. Female engineers are underrepresented in Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium, with an average of 11% compared with an average of 40% in the Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Turkey, Slovakia, and Serbia.

Latvia has the highest share of female railway engineers with 59.6% while Belgium had the lowest with just 2%, yet Belgium has the highest percentage of female train drivers at 2.9%.

The full report can be viewed on the CER website (PDF).

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