V/Line’s first all-female driver trainee group hits the network

 

News article: V/Line’s first all-female driver trainee group hits the network

Eight female trainees for V/Line were recruited from non-rail backgrounds and are said to bring with them a diverse range of experiences.

  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
So glad this was done and could be achieved. Great to see women drivers (could even be better outcome than make drivers) working at V/line and the government should encourage this.

V/Line’s first all-female driver trainee group hits the network

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  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
Why should the government encourage this?

I would have thought that hiring based on merit would be far better than hiring based on gender or race.

There's nothing stopping a woman from becoming a train driver if she wants to, so why run a specific program to hire only women? Is that not patronising?
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Why should the government encourage this?

I would have thought that hiring based on merit would be far better than hiring based on gender or race.

There's nothing stopping a woman from becoming a train driver if she wants to, so why run a specific program to hire only women? Is that not patronising?
Stafford
you may well find that the government has an exemption under Discriminations legislation to target women to address the gender imbalance in Victoria?

Certainly in NSW they did this, but the result was that people resented the females employed this way. Whist even those who may well have got a position/promotion because they were the best applicant were always looked down on because people felt that they had achieved the position based on nothing more than gender.

Now with our 57 different genders, goodness knows how you slice the cake?
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
Why should the government encourage this?

I would have thought that hiring based on merit would be far better than hiring based on gender or race.

There's nothing stopping a woman from becoming a train driver if she wants to, so why run a specific program to hire only women? Is that not patronising?
you may well find that the government has an exemption under Discriminations legislation to target women to address the gender imbalance in Victoria?

Certainly in NSW they did this, but the result was that people resented the females employed this way. Whist even those who may well have got a position/promotion because they were the best applicant were always looked down on because people felt that they had achieved the position based on nothing more than gender.

Now with our 57 different genders, goodness knows how you slice the cake?
theanimal

What gender imbalance and why does it matter? Again, hiring based on anything other than merit is idiocy and setting themselves up for failure, let me explain why.

Firstly, what do you base 'gender balance' on? The states population as a whole? 50/50 men women ratio? How about percentage of fulltime workers, in which case it would be 65/35 ratio.

Now let's break it down some more, let's say they reach their (as an example) 50/50 ratio. Now how about breaking it down by race, afterall they have to be representative of the states population don't you think? So you need x amount of asians, but we need to break the asians down as well, so we need x amount of Chinese, x amount of Japanese, x amount of Philipino....

Also we need to cover gender, can't forget anyone these days afterall - they might feel left out!

So, in order to be 'fully representative' of the state we need x number of trangender Nigerians, x number of Gay Philipinos and x number of lesbian ones, also we need some non-binary identifying..... yeah, you get the idea.


So, to bring it full circle.
There is nothing preventing anyone from applying to be a train driver in Australia, we have laws specifically preventing that sort of discrimination, exceptions to this are both patronising and breed resentment amongst those who gained employment on their own merit.

TL,DR: Hire on merit alone, no other metric matters.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

So long as they are held to the same standards to pass their training and progress into operations, I don't see any problem with intentionally grouping together 8 of the applicants who have already been judged to be suitable to begin training.

Given the previously publicised problems that V/Line has had with getting enough suitable applicants to replace staff who are leaving, any step it can take to gain a better reputation as an employer among underrepresented groups is absolutely necessary.

Better reputation = more applicants = more suitable applicants = more positions filled.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
So long as they are held to the same standards to pass their training and progress into operations, I don't see any problem with intentionally grouping together 8 of the applicants who have already been judged to be suitable to begin training.

Given the previously publicised problems that V/Line has had with getting enough suitable applicants to replace staff who are leaving, any step it can take to gain a better reputation as an employer among underrepresented groups is absolutely necessary.

Better reputation = more applicants = more suitable applicants = more positions filled.
justapassenger
Yes I'm sure by making it transparent that you hire based on gender rather than merit or ability you are really sending the right message to the applicant pool
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
  • In the beginning there were all male groups of trainees.
  • That was unacceptable.
  • Now there are all female groups of trainees.
  • That is OK.
How silly to think that the most suitable candidate for the job might produce the best end result. The best male, female or any variation thereof should get the job.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
So glad this was done and could be achieved. Great to see women drivers working at V/line
freightgate
I can only assume from this comment you're completely unaware that there are already a lot of female drivers at V/Line?

The overwhelming majority of existing female drivers that i've spoken too are against these all female classes as they feel it degrades their achievement of being hired and qualifying based completely on merit rather than gender.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I can only assume from this comment you're completely unaware that there are already a lot of female drivers at V/Line?

The overwhelming majority of existing female drivers that i've spoken too are against these all female classes as they feel it degrades their achievement of being hired and qualifying based completely on merit rather than gender.
jakar
Exactly, it breeds a them and us mentality.

Strange how often in trying to address 1 problem we create a separate problem.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
I can only assume from this comment you're completely unaware that there are already a lot of female drivers at V/Line?

The overwhelming majority of existing female drivers that i've spoken too are against these all female classes as they feel it degrades their achievement of being hired and qualifying based completely on merit rather than gender.
Exactly, it breeds a them and us mentality.

Strange how often in trying to address 1 problem we create a separate problem.
theanimal
Yep, a good news story that a training group of women are able to train comfortably together,
has conflated into an argy bargy about whether they are entitled to be there.

Yes, they are entitled. They have already proved their merit.

Will they feel comfortable in the real world of mixed company? We can only hope they are given a better welcome than from some writers here.

cheers
John
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This can do nothing but create division, dissention and hinder long term teamwork and camaraderie. It may well create a stigma for many years.

Most certainly all recruitment should all be about best person for the job without either positive or negative discrimination on any basis.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
This can do nothing but create division, dissention and hinder long term teamwork and camaraderie.
YM-Mundrabilla
"This can do nothing but..." etc? As in, it's an absolute given? 100% guaranteed?

What a horrible thing to say.

What a misogynist you've turned out to be.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

but I do agree that giving any specific group of people special priority in job application that's not based on their competence is just another form of discrimination.  It's like saying "I know that you are weaker but I'll overlook at it."
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
but I do agree that giving any specific group of people special priority in job application that's not based on their competence is just another form of discrimination.  It's like saying "I know that you are weaker but I'll overlook at it."
route14
It's for that very reason that I find the people complaining now hypocritical.

Where were the complaints from them about the majority of trainee classes over the decades which were all male?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I saw lady trainee drivers in Sydney as early as in 2005 when I went for the interview for their cleaner's position (my application got to referee contact stage but got tragically misplaced when the HR officer resigned without properly handing over the files), but they applied through the same procedure as other applicants.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This can do nothing but create division, dissention and hinder long term teamwork and camaraderie.
"This can do nothing but..." etc? As in, it's an absolute given? 100% guaranteed?

What a horrible thing to say.

What a misogynist you've turned out to be.
DirtyBallast
SmileLaughingVery HappyTwisted Evil

It's based on experience.

I have every faith and confidence is several young ladies who got onto the job on their merits and who progressed on those merits.
Two, in particular, have proven their competence and reliability over many years and remain trusted friends long after their and my own retirement.

It's an artificial and plastic world out there these days.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
This can do nothing but create division, dissention and hinder long term teamwork and camaraderie.
"This can do nothing but..." etc? As in, it's an absolute given? 100% guaranteed?

What a horrible thing to say.

What a misogynist you've turned out to be.
SmileLaughingVery HappyTwisted Evil

It's based on experience.

I have every faith and confidence is several young ladies who got onto the job on their merits and who progressed on those merits.
Two, in particular, have proven their competence and reliability over many years and remain trusted friends long after their and my own retirement.

It's an artificial and plastic world out there these days.
YM-Mundrabilla
You can't have it both ways.

The ladies that you refer to are acceptable to you because they apparently got their jobs on merit and eventually proved their worth, just like men.

But with the current group of trainees, you implied that they will cause all sorts of disharmony/mayhem/the collapse of mankind as we know it with their colleagues because in your mind they don't deserve their chance?

If only they could act like men, eh?
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
but I do agree that giving any specific group of people special priority in job application that's not based on their competence is just another form of discrimination.  It's like saying "I know that you are weaker but I'll overlook at it."
It's for that very reason that I find the people complaining now hypocritical.

Where were the complaints from them about the majority of trainee classes over the decades which were all male?
DirtyBallast

Because none of those men were chosen because they were men, they were chosen on merit. Nothing was stopping women from applying back then either.

Nobody deserves special treatment regardless of what gender or race they are.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This can do nothing but create division, dissention and hinder long term teamwork and camaraderie.
"This can do nothing but..." etc? As in, it's an absolute given? 100% guaranteed?

What a horrible thing to say.

What a misogynist you've turned out to be.
SmileLaughingVery HappyTwisted Evil

It's based on experience.

I have every faith and confidence is several young ladies who got onto the job on their merits and who progressed on those merits.
Two, in particular, have proven their competence and reliability over many years and remain trusted friends long after their and my own retirement.

It's an artificial and plastic world out there these days.
You can't have it both ways.

The ladies that you refer to are acceptable to you because they apparently got their jobs on merit and eventually proved their worth, just like men.

But with the current group of trainees, you implied that they will cause all sorts of disharmony/mayhem/the collapse of mankind as we know it with their colleagues because in your mind they don't deserve their chance?

If only they could act like men, eh?
DirtyBallast
No.
My sole objection is that this group was not selected equally to begin their training. Had they been chosen equally there would have been no need to brag about it.
It's no different to the old days in Britain where military officer trainees were usually chosen because they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. This group got the same preferential (discriminatory) treatment because they were female.
I freely admit that many of the current female spark drivers do a better and more enthusiastic job than some of the men. Perhaps they were chosen on merit rather than gender.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
but I do agree that giving any specific group of people special priority in job application that's not based on their competence is just another form of discrimination.  It's like saying "I know that you are weaker but I'll overlook at it."
It's for that very reason that I find the people complaining now hypocritical.

Where were the complaints from them about the majority of trainee classes over the decades which were all male?

Because none of those men were chosen because they were men, they were chosen on merit.

Stafford
You have absolutely no way of proving that.
  Dave C Chief Train Controller

Location: Maitland
Some interesting comments,

This is a complex issue and we have come a long way and what is the right answer no one really knows.

In an ideal world every position would be merit based and the best person for the job will be the one employed. Unfortunately this does not happen in both government and private workplaces.

If there is a need to have a all Female Intake what it really shows is that the system is broken and that is what needs to be fixed.

I have a very simple view treat everyone with respect and fairly irrespective of who they are until they show they do not deserve my respect. We have come a long way over the last 50years or more as a county but we still have a long way to go and not just in employment.

Dave
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie
You have absolutely no way of proving that.
DirtyBallast

And you have no way of proving otherwise, stop grasping at straws.


If there is a need to have a all Female Intake what it really shows is that the system is broken and that is what needs to be fixed.
Dave C

That's the point. There is nothing preventing women from becoming train drivers, hence nothing is broken, hence nothing needs fixing.
If anything, specifically hiring women is breaking the system as it introduces discrimination against men.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
You have absolutely no way of proving that.

And you have no way of proving otherwise, stop grasping at straws.


Stafford
Laughing

You're the one that came up with the motherhood statement that men were recruited on merit and women were not, in this instance. Let's look at it from the other angle. How can you be so sure that the women were not recruited on merit according to what their prospective employer was looking for? Maybe this bunch of applicants brought something to the table that men could not? V-Line are obviously after recruits from diverse backgrounds. Where amongst the male applicants are the former aviation workers, the army majors, the employment networkers, the stay at home dads? This, versus the cohort of male drivers who might only be in those positions now simply because when they were little boys they wanted to dwive twains.

The next trainee group might consist wholly of applicants who HAVE had previous rail experience. Discriminatory?

To diverge slightly, women are increasingly seen as an asset not only in what we call traditional male dominated occupations, but in boardrooms and executive positions  etc. as well. If you don't think that matters, check this out:
Funds with gender-diverse boards out-perform, again SelectingSuper

Yes, the women in those trustee positions might have got there on merit (whatever that is) but if I had any say in it I'd be doing my darndest to get more in.

It can only benefit society to even up the numbers regardless of the job. Any job. Just like there should be more male nurses and teachers which I am sure you would agree, but how to achieve that?

The fact that you are miffed about this whole issue says plenty about your mindset.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Someone on Whirpool revealed that some lady applicants got through to the training stage without the aptitude test.
  Stafford Station Staff

Location: Kalgoorlie

You're the one that came up with the motherhood statement that men were recruited on merit and women were not, in this instance. Let's look at it from the other angle. How can you be so sure that the women were not recruited on merit according to what their prospective employer was looking for? Maybe this bunch of applicants brought something to the table that men could not? V-Line are obviously after recruits from diverse backgrounds. Where amongst the male applicants are the former aviation workers, the army majors, the employment networkers, the stay at home dads? This, versus the cohort of male drivers who might only be in those positions now simply because when they were little boys they wanted to dwive twains.

The next trainee group might consist wholly of applicants who HAVE had previous rail experience. Discriminatory?

To diverge slightly, women are increasingly seen as an asset not only in what we call traditional male dominated occupations, but in boardrooms and executive positions  etc. as well. If you don't think that matters, check this out:
Funds with gender-diverse boards out-perform, again SelectingSuper

Yes, the women in those trustee positions might have got there on merit (whatever that is) but if I had any say in it I'd be doing my darndest to get more in.

It can only benefit society to even up the numbers regardless of the job. Any job. Just like there should be more male nurses and teachers which I am sure you would agree, but how to achieve that?

The fact that you are miffed about this whole issue says plenty about your mindset.
DirtyBallast

The fact that these women were recruited on gender rather than merit comes from the article in question.

They are part of a class of eight female trainees who were recruited from non-rail backgrounds, bringing with them a diverse range of experiences, including a former aviation worker, apprenticeship network provider employee, stay at home mum and Indian Army major.
Article

One considerable merit of employment in the rail industry would be prior rail experience, afterall the less V/Line has to teach someone, the sooner they will become a productive employee. As the article states, these women were recruited from non-rail backgrounds, and they are all women. Ergo, they were chosen because they are women, not because they have any prior rail experience to bring to the job. If life experience matters in employment with V/Line, why then exclude men?

As for how do I know the men were recruited based on merit? By process of elimination. This gender diversity push is a relatively new one, and train driving has historically been a male dominated job - ergo, any men who were employed as train drivers in the past could not have been chosen because they were men because the job was already male dominated!
You don't address the apparent problem of gender imbalance in the favour of men by adding more men, so clearly they were selected for some other reason.
V/Line is not stupid, they will choose the best candidates available, in this case - they would have chosen the applicants with the best qualities of prior experience, aptitude, and any applicable skills they may have learned in other trades, ie, the ones with the most merit.

If the next group of trainees consist of wholly of applicants with prior rail experience, that's not discriminatory, that's common sense. If I were applying for a train driver position against these same applicants and they get selected instead of me, I know it is because they have more experience than I do, ie, more merit. This is common across any job you care to name, those with more experience in the field are far more likely to get the job.


I read through your article and it's nothing new to me, here is another article addressing the same issue.
The conclusion is that having women on boards causes no significant statistical difference to board performance, your own article states that - any 'benefits' listed are all less than 1%, which falls well within the range of correlation and well outside causation.
There are as yet, no studies that prove that having women on company boards makes any significant difference to the bottom line, if it did, companies would be filling their boardrooms with women as quickly as possible.
They're not, so clearly they don't believe it makes a significant difference to the bottom line either, boards that are making efforts to increase female representation on their boards are all doing it for the same reason - PR, the same reason as V/Line is doing this.


As for more males going into the fields of nursing or teaching, female dominated fields to the tune of 90% and 85% respectively if memory serves correctly, why would I care?
Again, men are not excluded from becoming nurses or teachers - and if I'm in the hospital being taken care of by a nurse, it matters not to me one iota what gender or race the nurse is, I only care that they are competent at their job.
Likewise for teachers, if a teacher will be taking care of my children, I don't care if they are male or female, only that they are competent at their job.

This is no different to what I want for my train drivers, I don't care if they are male or female, only that they are competent at their job - however if V/Line is automatically excluding 50% of their potential applicants based on gender, they may well be excluding at least some of the best potential applicants.

That is what I disagree with.

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