Gender Equity

A woman’s place IS in rail!

Across the European Union, women and girls represent more than 50% of the passenger rail ridership but they only compose approximately 20% of our workforce. As UNIFE and the European Rail Supply Industry believes that inclusivity leads to the creation of more well-rounded mobility solutions in line with European Union climate, cohesion and resiliency ambitions, our community is committed to welcoming greater numbers of women to our ranks and positions of leadership. In recent years, our association has examined its values on this topic and entered consortia devoted to the education and recruitment of non-male employees.

At the UNIFE level, the association announced its Gender Equity Policy during its 2022 General Assembly in Paris. The document reiterates the need to address continuing imbalances within the European rail sector. It also highlights working conditions that limit the full participation of women and non-males. Seeking to lead by example, the policy presents internal actions that UNIFE will take to ensure that it remains a champion on the matter, such as:

  • establishing the UNIFE Gender Equity Advisory Group to examine this issue with a sectoral perspective
  • promoting representation by no longer participating in or organising “manels”

UNIFE will continue to strive to be a leader in gender equity and pursue concrete actions that will lead to equal representation in what will prove to be the future of European transport.

Follow hashtags: #WomenInRail #GenderEquity #iWorkInRail #reThinkIndustry #EuropeanYearOfSkills #UnionOfEquality #WomenOnBoards

Other initiatives

As the most sustainable form of transportation with a myriad of economic, security and solidarity implications, rail holds a special appeal with young people and transitioning professionals looking for employment opportunities with societal impact. To stimulate greater awareness of the importance of this topic and inspire action, UNIFE participates in activities ranging from the Women in Mobility platform and its InnoTrans luncheon to EU-level initiatives geared to increasing representation in our sector such as the ones below:

Hop on for the planet!

Since 2018, our association has worked with its members to create campaigns and initiatives that aim to foster deepening skills competencies and raise job seeker awareness of the rail supply industry. Our Hop On for the Planet initiative found that about 60% of Europeans between the ages of 16 to-25 were looking for careers that contributed to the fight against climate change and hoped that incentives were put in place to foster a shift to rail. This campaign worked to help young people – with special attention paid to women – learn more about the wealth of career options available in the rail supply industry across Europe.


UNIFE is also a leading member of the Erasmus+-funded Skills Training Alliance for the Future European Rail system (STAFFER) that brings together 32 partners to assess current vocational and educational training curricula across the EU Member States and craft recommendations that will lead to greater competencies in all areas of rail. It is our hope that this work will allow Europeans of all backgrounds and identities to more easily access rail training programmes and prepare for careers in rail.

Women in Transport – EU Platform for change

UNIFE is also a member of the European Commission’s Women in Transport – EU Platform for change, a platform launched on 27 November 2017 to strengthen women’s employment and equal opportunities for women and men in the transport sector. Its partners take actions intended to correct the current gender imbalance that exists in the transport sector – women only account for 22% of our colleagues at the moment. Our association participates in all of this body’s proceedings – including the organisation of the annual Women in Transport award.

Women in Mobility Luncheon

Leading associations and networks have joint forces with industry partners to host the annual WIM Luncheon.

Their goal: Connect female role models to enhance visibility, consequently foster innovation through diversity.

This year, female leaders once again met on the 21.09.2022 at the InnoTrans 2022. The Agenda included inspiring keynotes speakers on behalf of UNIFE, insights, innovation tours and panel discussions. 

A Woman’s Place is in Rail

UNIFE’s Women in Rail campaign is a further commitment to promote a gender-inclusive work environment and encourage more women to start careers in rail, ensuring greater representation of women in the railway sector. The association endorses a future in which women are given equal agency within, and impact on, the communities in which they live and work. We also recognise that the best place to initiate change is with yourself.

Voices of Inspiring Women and Supporters

Championing Gender Equity in Rail

For more information, please contact:
Estere Upmace Communications

Estere Upmace

Communications Manager +32 2 626 12 67 Read more
Andrei Ciufu Communications

Andrei Ciufu

Head of Unit - Communications +32 2 626 12 64 Read more
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