Women in Rail

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 the gender diversity of our workforce.

Currently, rail organisations are at differing stages of the gender diversity journey. As a whole, the industry has an ageing and male-dominated workforce but shares a strong desire to actively improve the gender balance throughout rail recognising the many benefits it brings. The significant growth facing the industry provides the perfect leverage to initiate this change.

In developing a national plan, the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) convened a one-day workshop, bringing together ARA-members as the Women in Rail Advisory Committee (the committee). During this workshop the committee detailed existing diversity and inclusion programs, brainstormed options for a national approach to improving  rail’s gender imbalance, while sharing an enthusiasm to act. The recommendations from this workshop are outlined in the Women in Rail Strategy.

To view the Women in Rail Strategy, click here.  

The strategy has been endorsed by the ARA Board. In the first instance, the industry will progress recommendations one and four; branding and promotion of the industry and the development of a national framework to assist organisations on their gender diversity journey.


Gender Diversity Report of the Australasian Rail Workforce

The ARA, on behalf of the rail industry has collated diversity data to provide a greater understanding of the gender diversity within the Australasian rail workforce. 

The survey questions (which can be viewed here) are based on the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) questionnaire to build data already collected to ensure a complete representation of the Australasian rail workforce.  The Gender Data Survey of the Australasian Railway Workforce was circulated to ARA members and was also made available on the ARA website between October 2017 and January 2018. The reporting period of the survey aligned with the WGEA reporting period of 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. Survey data was collected at the organisational level to report on employees who support the development and function of the Australasian railway network and its supply chain. 

The Gender Diversity Report of the Australasian Rail Workforce can be viewed here.

The Gender Diversity Report Card can be viewed here.

The information collected will assist the ARA and its members to establish benchmarks to track developments in this area, and will assist the ARA in creating initiatives to address gender diversity.


Diversity in Rail Lunches

The ARA has hosted a number of Women in Rail lunches since 2017 to celebrate and champion women in rail to achieve a gender diverse and inclusive Australasian rail workforce.
A Communique for the Women in Rail Lunch held in Melbourne in March 2017 is available here.
A Communique for the Women in Rail Lunch held in Melbourne in March 2018 is available here.
A Communique for the Women in Rail Lunch held in Perth in May 2018 is available here.
A Communique for the Women in Rail Lunch held in Melbourne in March 2019 is available here.
Three Diversity in Rail lunches are being planned for 2020 kicking off in Sydney on 19 March 2020, and Melbourne and Perth later in the year.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for these lunches. Please email events@ara.net.au for more information.

Mentoring Programs for Women in Rail 

There are significant benefits in being mentored (and being a mentor!).

After the successful pilot of the ARA’s Women in Rail Mentoring Program in 2019, the ARA will be running the Mentoring Program again in 2020.

Applications for both Mentors and Mentees will open late January 2020, or email programs@ara.net.au to express your interest in the program.

Sponsorship packages for this exciting program are now available, please see the Sponsorship opportunities document for details, or email programs@ara.net.au


More Information

For more information, please contact Natalie Currey via ncurrey@ara.net.au or 02 6270 4512.