The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has released its Gender Diversity Resource Guide, containing materials to help rail organisations establish new measures supporting gender diversity in the industry.

ARA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said, “The ARA Gender Diversity Resource Guide provides easy access to resources for anyone seeking to attract, retain and advance women in their organisations.

“While the industry has made progress in recent years, the fact remains that only 27 per cent of the Australasian rail workforce is female.

“The industry must work together to improve diversity and the guide provides links to practical resources that can help organisations play their part in achieving that goal.”

The guide links to a range of resources available free and online, including those developed by the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), and provides a brief summary of steps and activities for organisations to consider.

It is expected to be particularly useful for small to medium organisations seeking to support a gender inclusive workplace.

The development of the guide forms part of the ARA’s Women in Rail Strategy, which was recently revised to include a series of initiatives focusing on attraction, retention, networking, industry development, benchmarking and recognition.

Ms Wilkie said rail organisations were encouraged to share their progress as they implemented new diversity initiatives using the guide.

“There are so many examples of our industry introducing new and innovative programs to support gender inclusive workplaces,” Ms Wilkie said.

“We are eager to share even more stories as the industry continues to advance this crucial issue.”

The ARA has also partnered with the Diversity Council of Australia to deliver a series of diversity training courses for its members in the new year.

Ms Wilkie said more data on the industry’s progress will be available soon.

“As skills shortages continue to impact the industry, achieving greater diversity is crucial to making sure we have the right people to meet the industry’s needs over the long term,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Our biennial gender diversity survey is now underway and we look forward to releasing new data tracking the industry’s progress in the new year.”

The survey is based on WGEA’s survey questions and seeks to create a holistic understanding of gender representation, as well as diversity strategies and policies, in the rail industry.

The 2018-19 survey confirmed participation of women in the rail workforce had grown six per cent since 2016-17, but remained below national averages.

Read the ARA Gender Diversity Resource Guide here.

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