Rail bosses pledge to boost female engineering roles
Network Rail has pledged to boost the amount of women working on railways in a move to boost equality within the sector.
The news comes after research showed that girls as young as seven have developed an unconscious bias against engineering, and have completely disregarded engineering as a career choice by the time they are 14 years old.
When looking at the research further, it was found that girls aged between seven and nine thought that engineering was too dirty and messy, while those aged 10-12 believed that engineering is too dangerous and that they weren’t strong enough to cope with the demands. Finally, girls aged 13-15 were under the impression that jobs in the rail industry were unglamorous and unsocial, however they liked the idea of standing out from the crowd thanks to an alternative career choice.
Network Rail is hoping that the added focus will encourage thousands of females to consider working on the railway and show that engineering isn’t just a career choice for males. By 2018, 3,000 teenagers at five schools across Milton Keynes will be offered career advice about working on the railways, as well as benefitting from specially-designed school programmes.
As well as this, Network Rail has also confirmed that it will be rolling out a work experience scheme during the upcoming school year, one which will include a series of open evenings centred entirely on women. By showcasing roles and introducing applicants to staff, the scheme will aim to build confidence among women for them to apply for engineering roles. Finally, Network Rail will continue appointing role models among its staff members across the country, each of whom will be ambassadors for women working in the industry.
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