Rail Industry Diversity Survey

1. Background

Women in Rail and the National Skills Academy for Rail launched a survey in 2017 to determine the diversity makeup of the rail sector.  In 2023, we are now repeating this survey, to identify any changes in trends and to evaluate the progress made to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce in rail. 

We want the rail industry to reflect the diverse communities of the UK working population. This will assist in plugging skills gaps, promotion, attraction and recruitment processes to be more reflective of many of the “protected characteristics”[1], while ensuring the best candidates, with the most appropriate skill sets, are appointed to the most suitable role for them, the company they work in and the industry. We want to be confident that everyone has an equal opportunity to work in our sector.

Currently, the rail industry is still predominately male, although with an increased focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the sector, we are seeing more companies adopting EDI policies, encouraging females to join the rail sector and embracing the benefits that come with having a more diverse workforce.  However, diversity is wider than gender alone and it is important to understand the current make-up of the workforce across the industry covering the protected characteristics.

The questions have been devised to target the workforce at a company level so that we can identify industry-wide trends. The information collected from the survey will be arranged by company category and no individual employer will be identified by name and all information provided by individual companies will be kept confidential. This guaranteed amount of anonymity is aimed at encouraging as wide a response rate as possible to enable appropriate steps to be taken to meet our industry objectives.

We very much appreciate the time taken to complete the survey. The results will be published later in the year.

[1] The Equality Act 2010, identifies nine protected characteristics which are grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful.  The characteristics are: age; disability; ethnicity (race), gender; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity;  religion and belief; sex and sex orientation;