A senior government figure has called for the rail industry to employ more women.
Rail minister Claire Perry called for the sector to follow the gender diversity example set by the Crossrail project.
Setting out her vision for a sustainable railway, Perry warned that the workforce needed to reflect the diversity of passengers.
“In particular, we need more women working in rail,” she said. “Women make up 51% of the population and 47% of the national workforce but only 16% of the rail workforce.”
The minister said almost a third of Crossrail’s 10,000-strong workforce was made up of women.
“The result is clear,” she added.
“Crossrail is on time. On budget. We are the proven world-leaders in urban and soft-ground tunnelling. And it seems there’s barely a dignitary or minister in Europe who hasn’t donned an orange jacket to marvel at Crossrail’s incredible underground structures.
“That’s what a sustainable workforce can achieve. And it’s a model for the rest of the industry to follow.”
Equality body Women into Construction last year relocated to Crossrail’s Canary Wharf headquarters as part of a partnership between the two organisations.
Meanwhile Crossrail 2 managing director Michele Dix last year highlighted a lack of confidence among women engineers as one factor in their under-representation at senior level.