WOMEN are being encouraged to think about a carrier on the railways.

The call from rail company LNER comes as a special ‘Flying Scotswoman’ service with an all-female crew launched today (March 6) ahead of a month-long rebrand of its flagship Flying Scotsman train to celebrate opportunities in the industry as part of International Women’s Day this Sunday.

LNER conducted a poll of women across the UK which found the primary reason women are not considering the rail industry for their career is due to the perceived lack of a match between their skills and the jobs the sector offers, with six out of 10 women saying the industry is not relevant to their skills or expertise.

Launching the results of the research to mark International Women’s Day, LNER’s People Director Karen Lewis said the rail industry needs to work harder to promote itself to women, who are missing out on a rich source of career opportunities.

“There is a clear need for the industry to work together to demonstrate the unique opportunities on offer with a career in rail, and by doing so to help drive an increase in the number of women in the workplace,” Ms Lewis said.

“LNER bucks the trend with women making up 42 per cent of our workforce, compared to an industry average of 16 per cent. Our diverse workforce is something we’re extremely proud of at LNER and we’re working hard to inspire and attract even more talented women to join the industry.

“LNER has many examples of women who have remained in the business and progressed their careers due to having the right amount of support to do things like further their education or have families. Rail offers competitive salaries and a multitude of opportunities to progress careers, which we know are important factors for women in the working world of 2020.”

Since taking over the East Coast route in 2018, LNER has demonstrated a track record in its commitment to successfully recruit more women into the business.

In addition to a gender diversity split currently at 42 per cent, half of its Executive Board is also female.