Southeastern Railway launches initiative to encourage more women to opt for a career in rail.

Southeastern have launched an initiative to encourage more women to opt for a career in rail, an industry which can offer an exciting, fulfilling range of skills and opportunities.

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81% of women have never even considered a career in rail. However, two thirds (70%) of female workers polled admitted they would retrain for a job that offered great benefits and security.

In order to boost the number of women in front-line roles, the company has set a target of raising the number of female applicants for train driver roles to 40% by 2021.

At present, only 4.5% of Southeastern’s drivers are female – a figure in line with national statistics. Southeastern is determined to break the perception of driving trains as a male-dominated occupation. Across the entire rail industry, just 16% of employees are female.

Southeastern has introduced initiatives including:

  • Mentoring and development programmes for female employees
  • Amended imagery in recruitment campaigns to reflect diversity
  • Mandatory unconscious bias training for all managers
  • Partnership with WorkingMums, a leading employment website, to attract applicants
  • Employability programmes aimed at women, to provide help with application and interview techniques
  • Recruitment Open Days specifically aimed at women
  • Establishment of a women’s colleague network group – WIRE (open to all colleagues in Southeastern. Participants include women and male allies)

Ellie Burrows, Southeastern’s Train Services Director, said: “Driving a train brings responsibility, pride and achievement. It’s high time we broke the perception of the railways as a male-dominated industry. There are thousands of talented women out there who could have a rewarding career working in roles ranging from engineering to driving, on-board supervising or sales.

“Society has moved on. It’s no longer the case that little boys play with toy trains and little girls play with dolls. It’s vital that as a major transport operator, we have a workforce that reflects the diversity of our passengers.”

As well as becoming a member of a vast and dynamic team earning a generous salary, Southeastern reward staff with some impressive benefits including:

  • Full Training & Nationally Recognised Qualifications
  • Free Uniform
  • Free Rail Travel (extending to partner and children for leisure/education)
  • Final Salary Pension Scheme
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Career Development Opportunities
  • Maternity/Paternity/Parental Leave

Over the coming months, Southeastern will be running a series of recruitment campaigns encouraging women and men from a wide range of backgrounds to apply for roles as drivers.

If you would like to hear more about the Train Driver Role and how to apply email

You can also check out our Top Employer Page HERE

This case study was written and supplied by Sputheastern Rail

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