Network Rail has been named as one of the top 50 employers for women in the UK.
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Through the Gender Matters programme, the transport body has taken steps to improve gender diversity over recent years, including:
- Setting a target to achieve a 26% female workforce by the end of 2024.
- Making a conscious effort to attract, recruit and retain more women in the business at all levels, including apprentices.
- Progressing female employees into more senior roles. Over 100 women have now participated in the Women in Leadership programme to support their career development.
- A change in approach to flexible working and agile working by improving family-friendly approaches, including being more open to job share arrangements.
- Continuing to publish and focus on the gender pay gap, introducing a parental buddying scheme, and providing resources for different life stages.
- Improving welfare facilities for women, including toilets, shower facilities, drying rooms, sanitary products.
- Launching the Working Forward pledge – a commitment to making Network Rail the best workplace it can be for pregnant women and new parents.
Loraine Martins OBE, director of diversity and inclusion at Network Rail, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been named in this list.
“It is a reflection of the huge amount of work that has gone in to making Network Rail a more inclusive employer and a better place to work for all. We have made great progress, but we know there is more we can do – and more we will do – to make sure women thrive in our business.
“We know the benefits of having a diverse workforce, and we want to reflect the diversity of the people we that we serve. Having the right people in place is vital in helping us to deliver the safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable railway passengers deserve, especially as we build back from the Covid-19 pandemic and demand for rail begins to recover.”
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, Chief Executive at Business in the Community, which publishes the list in partnership with the Times, said: “We look forward to the day when commitment to gender equality is the norm, not the exception. Until then, I hope more employers take note of Network Rail’s ambition on gender equality.”
Charlotte Woodworth, Gender Equality Director at Business in the Community, said: “COVID-19 has shone a light on how far we have to go on gender equality: women have been disproportionately affected by lockdown.
“We congratulate the many employers who have maintained their efforts towards gender equality at this time, often introducing innovative policies to support their workforce during this period. This year’s application process was the most competitive one we have seen in five years. Employers like Network Rail haven’t forgotten women at work and they are committed to making gender inequality a thing of the past.”
The 2021 Top 50 Employers for Women was published on 29 April.
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