To celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has released research into the bias that women experience when working to develop and progress their careers.
The research was conducted by YouGov in February of this year. It reveals the true picture of the bias that women experience in different sectors throughout their careers. Key findings from the research include:
- a third (33 per cent) of working women surveyed believe that gender bias exists in their workplace. The worst industries were IT and telecoms (46 per cent), construction (45 per cent), and financial services (43 per cent);
- in the past two years, of the women surveyed who have been mistaken at work for someone more junior, 75 per cent believe that their gender played a role in this error;
- in the past two years, of the women surveyed who have had their skills, knowledge, or expertise questioned at work, two out three (66 per cent) believe it is at least partly due to their gender;
- almost half (48 per cent) feel that, in their workplace, having children has hindered their progression opportunities;
- in the past two years, of the women surveyed who have been overlooked for promotion, three out of five (57 per cent) said their gender played a role in why they were overlooked;
- one in five (21 per cent) were asked or expected to do extra administrative duties beyond their job description (such as booking meeting rooms, collecting refreshments for colleagues).
The global theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is Break The Bias, which looks to address the imbalance for women across the world, ranging from the workplace to access to healthcare, education, and social attitudes.
As well as encouraging more business leaders to review bias in their organisations, LNER is a leader for gender diversity in the transport industry, with a workforce that is 42 per cent female compared to the industry average of 16 per cent.
Claire Ansley, People and Customer Experience Director at LNER, said: “International Women’s Day continues to be a focal point for all our people at LNER as we take stock of how gender is perceived by colleagues and our goals in diversity for the future.
“Our research shows that women are experiencing bias at work in some sectors more than others, which is why this year we are celebrating International Women’s Day by highlighting the many ways in which women can take their careers forward in the railway sector.
“Speaking from personal experience, I’ve enjoyed 27 years of working in the rail industry, starting out by serving teas on the Pullman service between Yorkshire and London before progressing through a variety of roles in retail, station management and operational responsibilities and now to my current role as Customer Experience Director at LNER.
“It shows that the railway offers brilliant opportunities for women to develop and progress their careers, with a huge range of opportunities across roles that many people would not necessarily associate with rail. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, digital analysts, chefs and accountants – a whole host of different roles – are available in the railway and offer women the opportunity to take their career forward in ways they might never have imagined.”
Kate McFerran, Director of Communications at LNER, said: “Our research shows there is still a great deal of progress to be made in attitudes based on gender bias in the workplace, and in some sectors more than others.
“However, in the railway family, we take pride in colleagues who regularly say that once you join, you never want to leave the industry, due to the multitude of opportunities to develop and thrive at work.
“Our ambition is to help other women realise the benefits of a career in the rail industry, which offers a world of challenges and opportunities for people across all roles and experiences levels.”