Follow Crossrail lead on women, urges minister

Rail Minister Claire Perry yesterday urged infrastructure and engineering organisations to follow the example set by Crossrail and attract more women into the industry.

Women make up nearly a third of the workforce on Crossrail, the largest construction project in Europe. By comparison, across the construction industry, just 11% of employees are women, including those in office-based roles, and only 6% of engineers are female.

Speaking yesterday at Rail Minister Claire Perry said:

Crossrail has led the way in getting more women involved in building vital infrastructure, boosting female representation in the construction workforce and creating role models to inspire the next generation of engineers and construction workers.

The minister highlighted the progress made by Crossrail as she joined Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan, and leading women from the transport industry, for a special ‘Women delivering Crossrail’ event at the House of Commons.

Crossrail has been ambitious in trying to change industry perceptions and make its workplace more welcoming for women. The team has challenged the language used on site, connected Crossrail female role models with girls forming career plans, and carried out visits to schools and career events. 

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said:

“To deliver this unprecedented number of projects[ in the pipeline] it is vital we increase the number of women in the industry. All of us, from teachers and parents to chief executives and industry leaders, need to do more to help women make the most of the exciting career opportunities on offer.”

The event was part of the 100 years of women in transport campaign.

The ACE will tomorrow launch a new report setting out 10-point strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion in engineering.