Inclusive Recruitment and Gender Diversity in Transport

Inclusive Recruitment and Gender Diversity in Transport


Southeastern have recently announced that they are launching a new initiative to recruit more female train drivers. Only 16% of employees across the entire rail industry are female. Southeastern have set an ambitious target of increasing gender diversity from 4.5% to 40% by 2021 (see here for more).

As a consultant for EW Group, I am delighted to see a company take such an active approach in trying to attract talent from a wider and create a more gender diverse workforce. Obviously, I wish that companies did not have to do this, but I recognise that we still have some way to go before the gender stereotype of thinking ‘trains are for boys’ and ‘dolls are for girls’ vanishes.

When I work with companies, I often get asked about what I think about setting targets. For me, it would be great if we didn’t have a need to set them and the target was naturally met. However, for many companies particularly in certain sectors like transport, this has not happened yet. Hence, by setting a target this helps to focus both senior management and the hiring teams to consider new ways of attracting talent and to introduce initiatives similar to what Southeastern has launched on gender diversity.

So, what can you do if you are also aiming to recruit from a wider pool of diverse talent? There are a variety of actions that you can take to recruit more diversely (and some are outlined below). It is also worth considering training for staff across your organisation to ensure when you hire new individuals who may be from underrepresented groups that they feel included.

Actions to consider to attract more diverse candidates:

  • Amend wording in job descriptions to avoid discrimination
  • Review language and images on your website to demonstrate your inclusive culture
  • Training on Unconscious Bias for HR and Managers
  • Partnering with companies such as WorkingMums or Work180
  • Open Days specifically aimed at underrepresented groups
  • Ensure you have a clear equality, diversity and inclusion strategy on your website

Actions to consider in building an inclusive culture (for more on inclusive cultures, click here):

  • Development programmes such as mentoring and coaching
  • Training on building inclusive cultures for all employees
  • Development of networking groups e.g. for women
  • Including diversity and inclusion in values and all processes and policies


If you would like help in creating a more inclusive recruitment process to attract diverse talent to your organisation and support in tackling unconscious bias, get in touch to learn how EW Group can help you reap the business benefits of having a more diverse workplace.

Register for our upcoming Inclusive Recruitment Open Course

Caroline Arnold has significant experience in equality, diversity and inclusion, and unconscious bias. Caroline has a proactive approach, working in collaboration with clients and supporting them through reviewing key diversity and inclusion policies. Caroline skilfully designs and delivers engaging diversity training programmes helping organisations identify their core strengths and providing measurable recommendations on how management and their teams can make the most of their diverse abilities. She is especially passionate about gender diversity, working to empower women and helping companies retain their best talent.

Inclusive Recruitment Course with course leader presenting

Inclusive Recruitment Courses

Inclusive recruitment is a core skill for managers. Their ability to recruit and select talent in an inclusive way has a direct impact on the quality and diversity of your talent. Sign up to our next Inclusive Recruitment open course or ask us about creating a bespoke in-house course for your managers.

Read More
Talent Management Consultancy Diversity Inclusion

Talent Management

The businesses we work with understand the benefits of embedding best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion across all their key employee processes.

Read More