Metro celebrates International Women’s Day

Metro celebrates International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2024, James Ireland

International Women’s Day allows us to recognise the amazing women who have dedicated their careers to keeping Melbourne moving.

Three of Metro Trains’ long-serving female employees – Leni Scott, Alicia Snelgrove and Sangeeta Khan – have worked on Melbourne’s railways in the Stations team for almost 100 years collectively.

They have seen massive changes across the city and industry, particularly over the past 15 years.

Station Officer Eleni Scott started working at Metro Trains 47 years ago, and she said that the connections she has made with people keeps her working in the industry today.

“I was never made to feel any different to anyone else for being a woman working in rail – I was always one of the team, and that was that.”

The same goes for Alicia Snelgrove, Station Master at Southern Cross Station.

“I moved to Melbourne from the Philippines 32 years ago. I was pregnant with my youngest child and applied for a job at Metro and got it,” Alicia said.

“I’ve always felt included and supported at Metro Trains, and I still do.”

Station Officer Sangeeta Khan, who started working in the railways 16 years ago, said that Metro Trains provides young women with many opportunities, and it is a good organisation for a career.

This year, the UN theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is #CountHerIn: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress, focuses on pathways to greater inclusion of women and girls everywhere. Because when women are given equal opportunities to learn, earn and lead – entire communities thrive.

At Metro Trains, this call to action motivates the team every day of the year – to #CountHerIn by breaking down barriers for women joining the industry and to magnify the positive experiences of Eleni, Alicia and Sangeeta.

“We want to do Eleni, Alicia and Sangeeta proud, and we are making it our priority to ensure that we are a supportive and diverse organisation that reflects the community we represent,” said Claire Potter, General Manager of Passenger Experience.

“We are focused on recruiting, retaining and developing female talent, and committed to continuous improvement in this space.”

Since 2009, Metro Trains has been committed to bringing more women into its ranks and shift the dial on a traditionally male-dominated industry.

In 2009, just 12 per cent of the Metro Trains’ team were women. That number is now more than 30 per cent and is continuing to grow as more women come aboard.

We have increased the number of female signallers from 16 per cent in 2018 to 36 per cent currently and transforming the train driver cohort from 26 women in 2009, to more than 550 today, the highest number of female drivers in any train system in Australia.

Metro Trains is working to implement change through actions such as creating more inclusive spaces like parent rooms and broadened parental leave policies, so women who join the rail industry can build a thriving career.

We are proud to be endorsed by Work180 as an employer of choice for women. Work180 sets, reviews and drives global standards that deliver great workplaces for women.

To gain endorsement, Metro had to demonstrate that it is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, by meeting criteria such as: offering flexible working arrangements and paid parental leave, and striving for continuous improvement in diversity, inclusion and gender equity.

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