News 16 Oct 2022

European rail sector committed to more diversity in the workforce

One year ago, the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), representing railway sector employers, officially signed the Women in Rail autonomous agreement with the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF), aimed at promoting employment of women in the sector. [1]

The agreement, the first such agreement on gender equality in any sector at EU level, aims to attract more women to the rail sector and guarantee women more protection and equal treatment in the workplace thanks to numerous measures agreed under the headlines of general gender equality policy. Within the first 12 months of the agreement 82% of the CER EU member employees are already covered by this agreement due to its prompt and diligent implementation by CER member companies.

Women represent only a little more than 21% of railway companies’ workforce, and the share is even lower for some professional categories. To avoid missing out on the many benefits – for all workers – deriving from a diverse and inclusive workplace, CER members have put in place a wealth of concrete policies and measures in order to advance towards the goal of more diversity. This commitment is carried through at EU level with this binding sector agreement and underlines CER and its members’ engagement for more diversity.

CER Executive Director Alberto Mazzola said: “Increased diversity and gender equality is essential to the railway sector and CER members are fully committed to this important agreement which is the first of its kind in any sector at EU level. We are proud to see such a high level of implementation within the first year of the agreement and look forward to further progress”.

[1] Drawing on Article 155 TFEU, the European social dialogue process makes provision for consultation with the social partners at Community level across the entire raft of subjects relating to employment and social affairs, listed in Art. 153 TFEU.

Please also find a related short, animated video here.