A Women's World...
2019 International Women's Day is on 8 March. It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The future is exciting. Let's build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play - all the time, everywhere.
Let's all help create a #BalanceforBetter
We have many amazing women at London Northwestern Railways. We asked one of the many, Jane Fisher, Transition and Projects Director, why 2019 International Women's Day is important to her and about working in the transport industry. And this is what she said...
What does the 2019 International Women’s Day slogan, #BalanceforBetter mean for you in your work life?
It means attending more meetings where I am not the only woman, where women get an equal say in the decisions affecting our customers, colleagues and communities.
Why did you choose to work in transport?
Transport chose me really. After spending many years in the leisure and tourism industry, I started work in the transport division of a management consultancy company because I wanted to work Monday to Friday and 9 to 5. I’ve largely achieved the Monday to Friday part but the 9 to 5 part is a challenge most days.
In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up careers in transport in the near future?
The transport industry has realised that the customer has to be the main focus to succeed. We are carrying people not just moving trains around the network. Our managers need to reflect the customers we are serving so that means men and women and ethnic minorities represented in decision making.
How do we attract more women to WMT and a career within an industry that has traditionally been dominated by men?
We need to promote both WMT and the industry to graduates and undergraduates. The pay is attractive and there are benefits to working in the industry in terms of pension and travel. There are promotional opportunities both within the Group and within the industry. People are always going to need to travel so there will always be jobs unlike in retail or manufacture. The training provided is excellent also.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in transport?
Network, network, network. Build up your contacts database. You never know when a chat over a coffee or a glass of wine will lead to something.
Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to women working in transport?
Not any more. There are more and more women working at all levels of the industry both in the engineering sphere as well as the more traditional areas such as HR and Customer Service.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers – and considering working in transport?
Don’t think that you will have to settle for one industry for your whole career. The skills you can learn in one will be transferable to another. If you can learn how to write a briefing paper, construct a business case, produce and deliver a presentation, and argue your point of view, you can work in any industry.