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Negotiations started to promote the employment of women in the rail sector

With women accounting for under 20 per cent of the railway workforce, CER and ETF are starting negotiations to promote female employment.

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), which represents railway sector employers, and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), which represents employees, are starting the negotiations of an EU level agreement aimed at promoting the employment of women in the sector.

“The demographic situation in the rail companies all over Europe no longer allows the railway sector to do without the abilities, skills and talent of women,” said Giorgio Tuti, President of the EU Sectoral Social Dialogue for Railways. “The European Social Dialogue is the right place to negotiate effective measures to attract women to all professional areas of the rail sector.”

Women account for less than 20 per cent of the railway workforce, which is far below the economy-wide participation rate of women in the labour market (46 per cent). For some professional categories, this figure is even lower.

What benefits women workers, is a benefit to all workers

“The ETF believes that the only way ahead is to guarantee equal opportunities and good working conditions meant to attract women in rail professions,” stated Sabine Trier, ETF Deputy General Secretary. “What benefits women workers, is a benefit to all workers. It is in the interest of the sector and its employees to increase efforts and commitment to reach this goal.” 

CER and ETF have said that railway companies and trade unions believe that the situation should be changed in order not to miss out on the valuable contribution of women, to promote diversity at the workplace, and eventually bring the railway sector image closer to the one of the society in which rail customers live.

“CER members take the objective to improve the gender balance in the sector very seriously,” added Libor Lochman CER Executive Director. “For this reason we are keen to embark on the negotiations, aiming to a result that promotes good practices and tackles the remaining challenges.”

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