Network Rail has a median (middle) gender pay gap of 11%, which chief executive Mark Carne admits is “still too big”.
Of Network Rail’s 38,000 employees, only 16% are women. The figures are in the body’s new gender pay gap report.
The figure is against a national equivalent of 18%.
In a letter to the rail industry, Carne says that the problem will take time to address and reflects the fact that rail is still a predominately male environment, with men disproportionately represented at senior levels.
Carne is now calling on the industry to help change the situation. In the letter he said: “We all need to commit to improving our gender balance and reducing our gender pay gap.”
The report says that of lowest paid 25% of Network Rail staff – those paid below £16.64 an hour – 23% were women.
Of the quarter paid between £16.65 and £20.64 an hour, 16% were women. For the upper middle quartile, those earning between £20.65 and £25.68 per hour, 12% were women.
Finally, for the upper quartile, those earning more than £25.69 per hour, 13% were women.
In 2010, Network Rail launched a new drive to get more women to join the organisation. At the time, just 12.7% of its workforce was female.
Just four years later the proportion had increased to 14%, with Carne saying he was aiming to increase the proportion of women in his workforce to 30% by 2018.
Fast forward another three years and Network Rail has launched another campaign to recruit more women earlier this year. It says the previous figures were just aspirations, but this time it has set a genuine target of 20% of its workforce being female by 2020.