Women in Rail
Women make up 24 per cent of the rail workforce in Australia. Curious to understand more, we undertook a research project that resulted in a comprehensive report that identifies the need for a perception shift to help attract more women into the rail industry.
Download the report
Australia’s rail industry is undergoing a transformation. Like many countries around the world, our population is growing, new houses are being built further and further away from cities, and the impacts of climate change are driving rapid decarbonisation. The rail industry plays an important role in each of these areas, offering a sustainable way to connect more people to jobs and critical social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals.
However, Australia’s rail industry has some challenges to overcome. There are roughly 70,000 workers needed to deliver the $155 billion pipeline of rail infrastructure projects over the next 15 years. With women making up 24 per cent of the rail workforce and a perception of the industry as being manual and labour-intensive, we need to improve the profile of rail as a fulfilling career option, particularly for women.
As we shift perceptions and accelerate opportunities for women in rail, we are confident that the rail sector of the future will be one that is as diverse as the communities we serve, inclusive of all people, and sustainable for generations to come.
Report key findings
- Women make up 24% of the Australian rail workforce.
- 9 out of 10 rail professionals see themselves staying in the industry in the next five to ten years.
- Primary and high-school students have little to no awareness of what the rail industry offers in terms of careers.
- Those who study engineering say there is very little information in the curriculum about how their degree could be applied to the rail industry.
- Only 1.47% of students associate environmental science with the rail industry.
- Only 1.47% of students associate virtual reality with the rail industry.
- Find out how the Australian rail industry compares to the UK and US.
- Read our recommendations for what businesses can do to attract more women into the rail industry.