TransPennine Express (TPE) has been recognised for its work with local communities in promoting rail as a great career choice for women.
The train operator has been shortlisted for the Social Inclusion award at the prestigious Women in Rail Awards set to take place next month.
TPE runs a number of programmes designed to introduce rail as a potential career to communities across the North and into Scotland. Schemes such as those for apprentices and graduates have led to 20 per cent of new recruits over the last 12 months being under the age of 25, with more young women joining the business than ever before.
To provide more opportunities for women to develop their careers, TPE has launched its Step Up and Step Forward programmes to support female representation in management grade roles. The programme consists of coaching and peer to peer workshops focused on building presence and impact; working with stakeholders; career planning and strengthening networks. As a result of this commitment, in the past year, 24 per cent of internal promotions were achieved by women, along with a third of TPE’s new recruits.
Building on this, last year TPE launched a pilot Reach Up and Reach Forward programme specifically designed to support career development for colleagues from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director at TPE said: “We’re really proud of the work we’ve carried out to make TPE more inclusive and to enhance the representation of women at all levels of the business. Even our Executive team, traditionally dominated by men across the rail industry, has more than 40 per cent of roles filled by women.
“We know there’s more to do though and we now use a ‘gender-neutral language decoder’ and are careful when naming roles within the business to ensure we broaden the appeal of our jobs to women across society with transferrable skills.”
Rhonda Barnes, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TPE added: “We’re honoured to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. Working together we can build a better future for our communities, colleagues, and customers. Our values are central to this, especially being ‘supportive of each other’.
“Our colleagues are from all walks of life, including young people starting out, those with valuable transferrable skills starting second careers and long-serving colleagues keen to share their knowledge with those who are new to the industry. We have worked hard to create an inclusive and diverse mindset and to be an organisation whose culture, approach, efforts, and achievements are inspirational in its effort to include local communities in rail.”