Metro Trains has recruited its 500th female driver – a first in Australia – part of an ongoing drive by the Victorian Government to boost the number of women working in transport.

Women now make up 37 percent of the nearly 1400 qualified and trainee train drivers, the biggest pool in Metro Trains’ history. In 2009, there were just 26 women driving trains for Metro. A recent Metro Trains’ recruitment drive was made up of 84 per cent women.

Women are traditionally under-represented in the transport and transport construction industry. The Government has committed $6.25 million to its’ Women in Transport Program, which aims to increase the number of women working across transport by 30 per cent by the end of 2024, the number of women in senior roles in the public sector to 50 per cent and the private transport sector to 30 per cent.

The program includes 21 initiatives to attract and retain women in the transport sector, including training programs for women heavy vehicle drivers, diesel mechanics scholarships, a leadership development scholarship program and an engineering pathway program for female refugee and asylum seekers.

The strategy involves public and private entities – the Department of Transpot (DoT), Major Transport infrastructure Authority (MTIA) and major transport project organisers, VicTrack, MTM, Yarra Tram, V/Line and bus operators.

In the year ending December 2021, up to 2000 more women joined the transport industry compared to June 2019 – including an increase of more than 1200 women in senior leadership positions across the public sector and transport operators.

Metro has been endorsed by global jobs network Work180 as an employer of choice for women. It screens employers against a set of criteria that demonstrates that the organisation is committed to diversity, equality and inclusion.

Metro Chief Executive Officer Raymond O’Flaherty said train driving was an important job opportunity offering flexibility and career progression and urged people interested in finding out more to do so.

“We want our team to reflect the community that we serve. This means committing to a more diverse and inclusive workplace,” he said.

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