Research released by the Government this week reveals a significant gender pay gap in the UK. However, UK train operator, Hull Trains, is one organisation that continues to smash through the ‘glass ceiling’, by bucking the national trend.
Today, the Hull-based train operator has announced that two more of its female on-board team have worked their way through its organisational structure to become train drivers – with all grades throughout the entire business being paid on an equal basis.
For the first time ever, 100% of UK employers that were identified as being in the scope of gender pay gap regulations have published data. Statistics from the Government Equalities Office reveal that 75% of UK companies pay their male staff more on average than their female staff and 80% have more women in their lowest paid positions than in their highest.
Hull Trains’ latest recruits are amongst the most qualified and well-trained drivers on Britain’s railways already having a vast amount of industry experience following years of working in operational capacities. Now, they are set to drive some of the fastest trains on the UK rail network.
These latest appointments reflect Hull Trains’ people philosophy, which is designed to open up opportunities for all, irrespective of age, race, gender or sexual orientation. The team has created an environment that invests in people – offering the capacity and skills that enable its 120-strong workforce to deliver safely and deliver well for the +1 million customers who travel with the company each year.
Across the UK, only 5% of train drivers are women. Hull Trains significantly bucks that trend, with women making up more than 30% of its driver team.
Hull Trains’ Managing Director, Louise Cheeseman, is currently the only woman at the helm of the UK’s 22 train operating companies. She said: “Emma Ramsden and Sarah Goldbourne join a growing band of female drivers in our team. They are an inspiration to others and I hope we can encourage more women to seek a career in what has been seen, traditionally, as a male dominated industry.
“We really value our people and we aim to continually improve the skills of our entire team -encouraging everyone to work towards achieving their personal and professional goals.
“We are moving away from the stereotypical view that the rail industry merely creates ‘jobs for the boys’ and we hope that other companies will be inspired to follow our lead and that more people will want to join us.”
Hull Trains, the UK’s smallest train operating company, is a Gold Standard Investor In People. Reports show that men hold the majority of executive board positions in most industries, with only 12% of positions held by women in the construction industry, for example. Despite this statistic, 50% of Hull Trains employees are female, with an equal gender split on the executive board.
Debbie Birch, Head of HR at Hull Trains, said: “It is important to understand the advantages of a diverse workforce overall – management and the executive board should be diverse in both age and gender.
“At Hull Trains, we are committed to diversity and the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that this engenders.”