Female train driver positions

 
  AnneGable Beginner

I am 29 and thinking of making a career change.  Just moved to Australia (about 9 months ago) and getting setup.  I have been into trains since I was 16 but never worked in the industry.  Too male dominated overseas.

Do rail companies hire females for rail jobs?

Drivers, Guards and Signallers?

It is hard as female to get a drivers job?

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  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: Banned
[edit]  One user , 1084"Cockatiel"  has been banned from this thread, and his posts removed. if worried why, head off the rules for posting. If someone asks for help, don't tell them to go away. I prefer to welcome Anne and wish her well. -Dthead, Mod.
[/edit]


Hi Anne,

Firstly, don't listen to "Cockatiel", he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about.

As for your questions, the answer is pretty well yes on all counts. The rail operators regularly employ female trainee drivers and women working within all areas of the rail industry is becoming more common too so you stand a good chance of being employed in whatever area of the industry you decide to follow.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that the local rail industry is currently facing the biggest downturn in traffic that it has seen in a long time meaning that new jobs within the industry are currently few and far between while you will also face more and more competition for those fewer jobs.

Good luck with your applications though and hopefully you can yourself a find a spot within the local rail industry.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There are literally 100s of current applicants for trainee driver positions.
Sorry, but I don't see how someone arrives in Australia from overseas and expects to get priority on the basis of their sex and those of their would be workmates and other applicants. There are 1000s of lifelong Australians in need of jobs who should be ahead of you.
Employment should not be on the basis of sex but rather on ability but as has already been pointed out rail operators in Australia at the moment are more intent on poaching drivers from other companies and avoiding their own training.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
although it appears to displease mr. 1084"Cockatiel" greatly, (He seems to be carrying a very large chip on his shoulder!)
you will find all the railway companies in Australia are 'equal opportunity employers' but as The_trolley points out, things are not brilliant at the moment.

Good luck in your ventures
  darsamalx Locomotive Fireman

Hi Anne, it may be worth your while keeping an eye on vacancies with Aurizon. They actively encourage female employment and have made a commitment to employ a certain percentage over all parts of the business within a stated number of years. The next few trainee drivers classes in certain areas of Queensland have a high percentage of female participation. Good luck!
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

It's been said before but it's not a job for everyone. Do lots of homework. This is a good place to start: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11324921.htm . At the moment, the industry is still dominated by males but I think the various HR departments would like to change that. If you are still keen, watch Seek, and the operators websites. Throughout the application process you need to demonstrate a focus on safety. The consequences of stuff-ups in this industry are almost always expensive and often, potentially fatal. Good luck.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I am 29 and thinking of making a career change.  Just moved to Australia (about 9 months ago) and getting setup.  I have been into trains since I was 16 but never worked in the industry.  Too male dominated overseas.

Do rail companies hire females for rail jobs?

Drivers, Guards and Signallers?

It is hard as female to get a drivers job?
AnneGable
It truly depends where you work. I know some rail depots where there is a quite a few female employees (both as drivers, guards, managers etc) and then there are other depots that seemingly struggle to attract any females to the job.

Thankfully, here in Australia we don't discriminate on the basis of  gender, so if it is something your really keen on getting involved with then don't think your in with any less of a chance. Nearly all places recruit on the basis of merit selection, so if you possess the key qualities of:
- Effective communication (both verbal and written)
- Keen focus on safety
- Excellent team work and problem solving skills

Then your in with a great shot.

Recently, there have been drive across Australia to try and recruit more females and indigenous Australians into the rail industry, in an effort to overcome the stereotype that it's "a mans job". I would anticipate that such drives will come again shortly so keep your eyes peeled.

Best of luck, it is certainly a rewarding industry for those who are willing to put the effort in and give it a go Smile
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
So now we apparently have positive discrimination in favour of females. I was, obviously mistakenly, under the impression that discrimination was illegal.
Everyone should be employed or not on the basis of their merit (rather than merit on the basis of sex). The females will need nothing more than their own true merit to be employed as in so many cases they do better than many of the males on the job. One only has to look at the competence of the many females in the Pilbara mines.
My hangup with this post is someone being in the country for 10 minutes and immediately pulling the sex card in an attempt to get ahead of so many unemployed people (both male and female) already here and yes one of my posts has already been pulled from this thread (not that I have been told).
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
So now we apparently have positive discrimination in favour of females. I was, obviously mistakenly, under the impression that discrimination was illegal.
Everyone should be employed or not on the basis of their merit (rather than merit on the basis of sex). The females will need nothing more than their own true merit to be employed as in so many cases they do better than many of the males on the job. One only has to look at the competence of the many females in the Pilbara mines.
My hangup with this post is someone being in the country for 10 minutes and immediately pulling the sex card in an attempt to get ahead of so many unemployed people (both male and female) already here and yes one of my posts has already been pulled from this thread (not that I have been told).
YM-Mundrabilla
Reverse discrimination is alive and well in Australia. I lost count of the number of jobs going in the Pilbara that were restricted to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander applicants only.

Here's a snippet from one of the big miners today:
These positions have been identified as an Indigenous Employment opportunity; therefore to be eligible to apply you must identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
"BHP"


Generally speaking, those I've met in the industry don't have an issue with women on the job, so long as they pull their weight. That being said, many employers seem to want to cater to perceived weaknesses with women in rail when they are quite capable of doing the job, and it is this that causes friction with some Driver's.

Anne may well find until she has citizenship or permanent residency, or whathaveyou, employers won't consider her application in any event.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

So now we apparently have positive discrimination in favour of females. I was, obviously mistakenly, under the impression that discrimination was illegal.
Everyone should be employed or not on the basis of their merit (rather than merit on the basis of sex). The females will need nothing more than their own true merit to be employed as in so many cases they do better than many of the males on the job. One only has to look at the competence of the many females in the Pilbara mines.
My hangup with this post is someone being in the country for 10 minutes and immediately pulling the sex card in an attempt to get ahead of so many unemployed people (both male and female) already here and yes one of my posts has already been pulled from this thread (not that I have been told).
YM-Mundrabilla
I agree that decisions should be made based on merit and not gender, sexual preference, race or anything else that people have no control over. Alas, in the real world, people have always discriminated and probably always will. To institutionalise discrimination seems counter-productive but there are a lot of people in HR that need to justify their existence.
     To your point on the original post, I think you have mis-read it's intent. This is one of many posts requesting information regarding employment. Generally they are trying to gather information so they are better prepared than the next person. Seems sensible to me. I don't think that the OP was pulling the sex card. They were simply stating a relevant fact that was fundamental to the post.
  Stuart@MetroTrains Beginner

I am 29 and thinking of making a career change.  Just moved to Australia (about 9 months ago) and getting setup.  I have been into trains since I was 16 but never worked in the industry.  Too male dominated overseas.

Do rail companies hire females for rail jobs?

Drivers, Guards and Signallers?

It is hard as female to get a drivers job?
AnneGable
Hi Anne,

Speaking on behalf of Metro Trains in Melbourne, we regularly employ and encourage diversity across our business and celebrate the benefits this diversity brings to our operations and customers. We do not limit this to simply gender diversity.

To answer your query, Metro Trains Melbourne employ large number of female employees across our entire business which includes roles within our operations division (train drivers, signallers, security and surveillance, authorised officers, station staff etc).

As some of the other members have eluded to - there is high competition for roles within the rail sector and we always hire on merit, it is not unusual for some people to wait 12 months or longer before gaining a trainee role in some of our technical positions.

I hope this gives you some insight into our business.

Regards
Stuart
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Not only does Metro Trains Melbourne recruit and employ on merit and irrespective of sex but so does Yarra Trams.

You might want to consider also applying there.

They too have quite a wait to join but you gain valuable experience in an environment where there is less training and you can be "on the road" within days and unsupervised within weeks.  If you can drive a car you can probably drive a tram.  It's actually a lot easier than it looks and you have right of way over almost every other road user.

It might be worth noting that some of the rail employers operate buy-out clauses whereby if you start a role and choose to leave within a certain timeframe you are required to pay back all or some of your training costs.   Metro drivers undergo around a year of training for example which is a substantial investment in the individual and they quite rightly expect a reasonable return on that.

Finally if you're not already aware driving trains requires that you abandon most hope of a "normal" home / family / social life.  You'll get what you make out of life of course but you can be required to start at any hour of any day.  It's no fun heading to bed at 6pm on a Friday when your mates are off out because you've got that 3.30am start on Saturday.  You are also required to maintain zero blood alcohol at all times on duty and be free of any drugs - even prescription medication must be disclosed before commencing duty.  Random testing occurs.

Some operations also require that you spend significant time away from home usually in "barracks" (railway accommodation at a distant location) or otherwise provided for you.

For the right person it's a career job and quite decently paid.  Before you accept a position have a long hard think about what you want and what you are prepared to sacrifice in life to enjoy that career.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

The NSW RTBU recently released some figures.


RTBU Female membership by division

Admin 23.5%

Locomotive  4.6%

Bus & Tram  5.6%

Rail Operations  23.6%

Infrastructure  1.3%

Workshops  20%



The figures are for union membership only, but the percentages would be similar for employment.

 For those whinging about “merit”, please remember that any female who gets a rail job through a legal female-oriented recruitment process has passed all the same tests as the men.
I think it can only be a good thing that some employers are utilising legislation to actively redress the gender imbalance.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
For those whinging about “merit”, please remember that any female who gets a rail job through a legal female-oriented recruitment process has passed all the same tests as the men.
I think it can only be a good thing that some employers are utilising legislation to actively redress the gender imbalance.
smithagain
Therein lies the problem though, as you've identified, blokes may have been specifically excluded from a position, who may have been better qualified or suited to the job, because the process was female-oriented, legal or not, and that is what most people have a grievance with.

If a woman can do the job, great, I've no problem with that, but if that is the case, why do they need specific recruitment programs aimed at women?, or ATSI applicants, or redheads, or, or, or......Doing that simply shows they believe female applicants need special treatment whether they do or not, and it is that kind of thinking that most people I've spoken to have a problem with.

Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, especially in the eyes of those you're going to have to work alongside...
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

Therein lies the problem though, as you've identified, blokes may have been specifically excluded from a position, who may have been better qualified or suited to the job, because the process was female-oriented, legal or not, and that is what most people have a grievance with.

If a woman can do the job, great, I've no problem with that, but if that is the case, why do they need specific recruitment programs aimed at women?, or ATSI applicants, or redheads, or, or, or......Doing that simply shows they believe female applicants need special treatment whether they do or not, and it is that kind of thinking that most people I've spoken to have a problem with.

Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, especially in the eyes of those you're going to have to work alongside...
KRviator
I weep for all those white males who have been excluded. Boo hoo.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
QR/Aurizion/Whatevertheycallthemselvesthisweek is after girls again in Toowoomba. Ad is on Seek . I can certainly think of worse places to live & work, but I dunno what their roster is like!

EDIT: Alright, I give up... The damn URL coding wont work for me, and I'm tired after a 12 hour night shift. Here it is:
https://www.seek.com.au/job/32817066?type=standard&tier=no_tier&pos=2&whereid=3000&userqueryid=50f318576cd19879f5958ef49d725d86-8520566&ref=beta

I'll delete it when the ad is pulled. Maybe.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
Hi Anne

I can speak for Transdev the Operators of the Sydney Light Rail (operating 5 car Urbos 3 articulated trams). My intake about 9 months ago had 50-50 mix of 4 male 4 female. They actively encourage females to apply but do not limit applications to just females like Aurizon does. A brand new intake of 4 new employees due to start in the coming weeks will reveal if this trend continues.

Good luck

S'man
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
I didn't actually think Anne was pulling the gender card - just enquiring whether she would be excluded.

As a passenger, you don't get a lot of interaction with the train driver. But I can attest to the fact that lady bus drivers are both pleasant to deal with and skilled at their job which requires a strong attitude towards safety as well as ability to deal with people. (Yes, I know a train is a different piece of kit with a different skill set.)

Good luck with the job search - from a number of posters here, the chances seem encouraging.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
For those whinging about “merit”, please remember that any female who gets a rail job through a legal female-oriented recruitment process has passed all the same tests as the men.
I think it can only be a good thing that some employers are utilising legislation to actively redress the gender imbalance.
Therein lies the problem though, as you've identified, blokes may have been specifically excluded from a position, who may have been better qualified or suited to the job, because the process was female-oriented, legal or not, and that is what most people have a grievance with.

If a woman can do the job, great, I've no problem with that, but if that is the case, why do they need specific recruitment programs aimed at women?, or ATSI applicants, or redheads, or, or, or......Doing that simply shows they believe female applicants need special treatment whether they do or not, and it is that kind of thinking that most people I've spoken to have a problem with.

Just because something is legal doesn't make it right, especially in the eyes of those you're going to have to work alongside...
KRviator
So I see that you have disagreed with KRviator's post above Stuart@MetroTrains. As you seem to be in a position to know something about this tell us what you are disagreeing with? And why Metro and / or other employers are discriminating in favour of hiring women to up the percentage of females in the rail industry. Because even though I don't have a problem with the policy as such it is self evident that if you are getting 100 applications for a position and 5 of them are female then the best person for the job is more likely to be a male. If you then give the job to one of the 5 female applicants you are not getting the best qualified person.

I am not employed in the industry but I do employ staff and we give the job to the best person we can get = male or female.

BG

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