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TransPennine Express calls on more women to join the rail industry ahead of International Women’s Day

Ahead of International Women’s Day, TransPennine Express is calling for more women to join the rail industry and its growing workforce of women, as a cultural shift begins to take place.


Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of TPE employees are women, but this figure has grown since 2018 when just 18 per cent of all colleagues were women, and, importantly, this increase is steadily gaining momentum.

Since the birth of the railways, during the industrial revolution, the industry has traditionally been seen as male dominated, but this perception is starting to shift and TPE is encouraging more women to join the ever-growing group of female rail industry workers.

Currently almost half (42 per cent) of TPE station staff and more than a third (38 per cent) of senior managers are women. TPE is proud of this progress, but wants to increase these numbers.

Chris Jackson, Managing Director of TPE said:

“We’re extremely proud of the work that we have done to raise the profile of women within our business, but we know that there is still work to be done.

“This International Women’s Day, we’re not only celebrating our incredible colleagues, but we’re also calling on more women to join our team and the rail industry in general.”

In the past year alone, TPE has seen a sizeable shift in the number of women applying and securing new roles. Almost a third (32 per cent) of all new hires have been women, up considerably on previous years.

Notably, 25 per cent of trainee drivers recruited this year were women, a role that historically has been male-dominated and even more impressive is the numbers of younger applicants. Of younger apprentices applying in the past year, almost 30 per cent were female, showing that there is a growing desire amongst younger women to join the industry.

This International Women’s Day, TPE is committing to work with Smart Works Greater Manchester, a UK charity that exists to empower all women who need help getting into work. Incredibly, 69 per cent of its clients secured a job within a month of using the service.

Harriet Harbidge, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TPE said:

“We are committing to allow candidates applying at TPE, within the Greater Manchester area, to be able to access Smart Works Greater Manchester services through referral from TPE. This will allow women who are unemployed to access the service and come to interviews with us feeling their most confident and best selves.

“Women who already hold roles at TPE will also be volunteering to support the charity through our volunteering policy, and colleagues will be able to use work time to donate up to two days each year to help more women get into work.”

TPE has always been a firm believer in supporting women, especially within its own ranks. Since 2019, TPE has participated in women’s development programmes with success. The internal Step Up programme has seen 73 per cent of participants receive a promotion or secondment since completing the programme.

TPE’s Step Forward programme, for women in management roles who have aspirations of being heads of department or senior managers, has seen half of participants receive a promotion or secondment since completing the programme.

These are just two of the successful programmes that TPE runs. In addition, the rail operator has launched a Senior Women’s Development Programme, for women in senior management roles with aspirations of becoming a director, and a Women in Rail Mentoring Programme, which sees mentors take less experienced colleagues under their wing to help them progress.

For more information or to apply for one of the many varied roles at TPE visit: TPE careers website