A Women's World...

Friday, 8 March 2019
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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, Samantha Rayment, Watford Station Manager, 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?

Celebrating how far we’ve come and recognising where the industry needs to go next to make the representation as much as balanced as possible.

Why did you choose to work in transport?
Originally I saw it as a reason to expand my horizons beyond the dodgy town I grew up in. However I continued in the sector as the variety, community and challenges have inspired me over the years to stay and try and do something decent with impact. The people in this industry are what really make it day to day.

In your opinion, why is it important that more women take up careers in transport in the near future?
Our customers are not exclusively male, so our workforce shouldn’t be either. We should represent the communities we serve as best we can.

How do we attract more women to London Northwestern Railways and a career within an industry that has traditionally been dominated by men?
We need improve the way we connect with local communities, schools, colleges and universities through traditional means but also through modern media and career events which aren’t industry specific.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in transport?
Make time for people and don’t be afraid to challenge constructively and be prepared to drink an absolute bucket load of tea.

Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to women working in transport?
In aviation yes there is a glamorous stereotype of flight attendants which often didn’t reflect the reality of safety protocols, silver service and loads of jet lag. When I go on holiday now, if it’s a female flight deck making an announcement, the chances are there will be a disparaging remark made from a passenger in the cabin. I believe that the railway has taken some giant leaps forward although I still find it department dependent. It’s more about working through the challenges around unconscious bias, something we can all be guilty of, and making our judgements and decisions all about the persons capabilities and qualities.

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?
Just go for it!