Baroness Kramer gave the keynote speech at the Women in Rail conference in Derby on Wednesday (14 May 2014).
More than 50 men and women from across the rail and engineering industries heard the minister talk about the importance of encouraging more women to take up careers in the industry, and the huge amount of opportunities being created as a result of government investment in rail.
Currently, fewer than 20% of people working in the rail sector are women, while only 4.4% of the sector’s engineering workforce is female.
Baroness Kramer said:
We need the rail industry to encourage more women to come on board and make the most of the opportunities on offer. The Women in Rail group has done a great job in raising awareness of careers in rail, and I am determined to help them break down the barriers that prevent women from joining the industry.
It is an incredibly exciting time to work in rail, especially as we are currently investing in the biggest programme of rail modernisation since Victorian times.
Women in Rail was founded in April 2012 to provide networking opportunities and support for all women in the rail sector. It aims to promote rail as an attractive career choice and encourage more young people to consider a career in the sector, in order to develop a more diverse and skilled workforce.