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Results of the 2013 questionnaire on the development of women employment in the railway sector in Europe

The outcome of the first annual review of the development of women employment in European railway companies shows that the average share of women working in the rail sector remains constant at around 20%. Overall, women are still underrepresented in technical professions. Equality measures focus on the improvement of the work-life balance.

While women account for 18% of positions with managerial responsibilities, they only represent 1.4% of train drivers. The situation is slightly better in the field of engineering. The current figures show that female engineers are underrepresented in Italy, France, Luxemburg, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium with an average of 11% compared to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovenia, Romanian, Turkey, Slovakia and Serbia where they account for 40%.

To overcome inequalities between women and men, railway companies decided to focus on solutions and activities that could better bring together work and family commitments. Around 80% of the participating railway companies offer, for example, flexible and reduced working time possibilities and support in organising care of children and elderly.

Within the field of career opportunities for women, the potential is not yet fully revealed. Only 16.7% of the participating companies have installed campaigns to make Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions more attractive to women and only another 12.5% plan to do so. The review also emphasised that around 20% of the railway companies have agreements on quantitative targets in order to increase the share of women in the company.

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