What are the challenges in attracting more women to the rail sector through talent attraction?
It’s a long and challenging journey, I think the key for us will be to listen to our employees’ voices, as they are the ones who guide us to change.
The way the rail industry is currently perceived is rapidly changing. We are moving from an old-fashioned traditional industry into a modern, innovative one; with a focus on sustainability, which plays an important role in shaping a more environmentally friendly world.
I believe that we have an important role to communicate this change, as I think it will be an important message to tell when attracting a more diverse workforce.
I also think that it is important that we make sure that we are speaking the same language as the people we are trying to target, for example to attract more women into the sector we need to have an attractive offering which includes a flexible working policy and clear career development plans - showing them that we are committed to DEI and making a difference.
At Hitachi Rail, we aspire to become a leading business in terms of a cultural and innovative approach and we are always looking to find new creative channels to communicate – I am excited for this journey.
As a woman with over 20 years of experience in the rail industry, what advice do you have for women seeking career opportunities in this field?
I started to work in the rail industry more than 20 years ago, as a young woman, full of energy, confidence and enthusiasm. At that time nothing was easy for women and we were far away from having the diversity and inclusion policies we have in place today.
However, I learned that determination, empathy, humbleness, openness, and competence are the keys to success, not just for women but for anyone in any industry, anywhere in the world.
We should believe in ourselves and learn from our colleagues, leaders, and team every day. No matter who you are, you need to believe in yourself.
What is your plan for promoting diversity in the rail industry, and specifically at Hitachi Rail?
A diverse workforce is key for Hitachi Rail to continue to grow and attract the best people. I believe a global company should be a true reflection of the world we live in - diverse and fully representative of people from all parts of society.
By having an inclusive and open-minded culture, we will be able to continue to attract diverse and talented people to help business growth. I think it is important that we work as a team to show this refreshed and new image of the rail sector, which is filled with opportunities for everyone.
I also think it is not enough to just provide opportunities, we also need to make sure that everyone has a fair chance to take advantage of them. My vision for the rail sector is to have equity, which means everyone has a fair chance, and this will lead to greater diversity.
Can you describe the talent attraction initiatives that Hitachi Rail has implemented to increase the number of women employees in the company?
In the past, rail has been a male-dominated and conservative sector. But today it looks a lot more diverse both in people we have working with us and the roles we have available, including digital communications engineers and automation software engineers.
At Hitachi Rail, we understand the future of inspiring the next generation – it’s the Hitachi Group strapline! Therefore, we are focusing on developing our early careers program.
When we visit universities and conduct campus recruitment events, we make sure to highlight the amazing work that women engineers are doing across our organisation. We want to inspire young people and show them that the rail industry is full of potential for everyone. We're proud to say that our approach is working - we've successfully hired many talented women engineers for our highly technical internship programs.
Employee engagement is crucial to the success of any organisation, and at Hitachi Rail, we've made it a top priority. We believe that creating a culture of inclusivity is key to achieving this goal. That's why we've developed a comprehensive approach that focuses on four critical pillars: Strategic Narrative, Engaging Leaders, Employee Voice, and Integrity. By embracing these pillars, we ensure that every employee, regardless of their background, feels valued and appreciated. When this happens, we can create a thriving workforce that's motivated to succeed and make a positive impact.
At Hitachi Rail, we're proud of our commitment to employee engagement, and we believe it's one of the key reasons why we continue to be a leader in the rail industry.