Greater Anglia encourages more women to apply for train driver roles

Friday, 4 March 2022
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Sarah Swanston, who has been a qualified train driver for 25 years. Credit: Greater Anglia
Sarah Swanston, who has been a qualified train driver for 25 years. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has launched a campaign to encourage more women to apply for train driver roles.

The train operator is using International Women’s Day to promote the opportunities for women to become train drivers.

On Tuesday 8 March, more than 40 women will find out more about becoming a train driver at a bespoke event for existing staff currently in other roles, at Greater Anglia’s academy in Stratford.

The day will include information about the recruitment process and assessments, driver training and a Q&A session with some of the company’s female drivers.

They will also have a go at driving a train virtually on a train simulator.

One of the panellists, Sarah Swanston, has been a qualified train driver for 25 years.

Sarah, who is Greater Anglia’s Right Time Railway Manager, said: “Every year we are seeing more and more women applying for train driver roles and this event is a great opportunity for people to find out more about what the job entails.

“Some of our female drivers have been here for decades, but we are always looking to recruit more women. We want women to know that being a train driver is a great career choice.”

Katy Bucknell, Greater Anglia HR Director, said: “We are always looking to attract more women into the railway. We are running three female driver information days this year for internal colleagues to give them insight into the role of a driver.

“We recently recruited drivers and conductors and 50% of the new recruits who already worked for the company were female.

“The railway is a great place to work with many benefits and we’re hoping more women consider a career as a train driver.”

Greater Anglia has a women in rail group, Up!, which runs sessions for all employees throughout the year. They have run inspirational women in leadership discussions, developmental webinars on imposter syndrome, emotional intelligence and personal brand and will continue to run events throughout the year.

By 2025, Greater Anglia has an ambition to achieve an equal gender balance across its entire workforce, including leadership roles.