Women in Rail Lunch

Rail is entering an exciting period as a result of unprecedented investment and expansion. This transformation provides rail with the unique opportunity to embrace change and improve gender diversity in the rail workforce, and we believe that everyone has a role to play in the journey. Data collected by the ARA in 2014 identified that women represent about 17 per cent of the rail workforce. While the rail industry is not alone in its low representation of women, the significant investment in industry presents all jurisdictions with the need to engage an increased workforce, providing rail with the perfect opportunity to address long-standing gender diversity issues within the industry.

To kick off the national plan, in line with International Women’s Day, the inaugural Women in Rail Lunch was held at The Windsor Hotel, Melbourne on 8 March 2017, with 230 guests attending the sold-out event.

A panel discussion detailed what has been done to date, what is underway and aim to be thought-provoking for new ideas as rail organisations actively embark on their gender diversity programs.


  • Deborah Spring, Chair, Rail Industry Safety and Standards Board (RISSB)


  • The Hon Jacinta Allan MP, Victorian Minister for Public Transport
  • Michelle Doolan, Aurecon (winner of the Young Professionals Pitching competition at AusRAIL 2016 for her concept to use virtual reality to generate public excitement for rail infrastructure construction projects)
  • Howard Collins OBE, Chief Executive, Sydney Trains and Chair of the ARA’s Passenger Transport Group
  • David Irwin, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific National


Further information

To receive information on future lunches, please contact Events Manager, Janet Cameron via or on 02 6270 4527.