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Bradford mums take the driving seat with Community Rail Lancashire project

The group at Freightliner’s Midland Road depot.

Mums from Bradford’s Ravenscliffe estate have recently been taking part in railway engagement project This Girl Can, organised by Community Rail Lancashire and the Gateway Community Centre, encouraging more women to consider careers in the rail industry.

Throughout the project, the women have visited Skipton, Harrogate, York and Leeds to increase their rail confidence, talk to railway staff and find out more about roles in the industry.

The finale of the project on Friday 20 January saw the group visit Freightliner’s Midland Road depot in Leeds. Here, the women heard from driver Liz Empsall and HR Business Partner Clare Antrobus, as well as other employees who spoke about their roles and what opportunities await them in the industry. The group also received a tour of the depot and got to have a look inside the cab of a freight train to find out how they’re operated.

Hearing from rail industry staff about their roles.

Community Rail Lancashire has been involved in several projects to showcase the railway industry to women and to try and tackle the large workforce gender inequality – at present, only 16% of the workforce is made up of female employees, compared to 84% male. This recent project has seen an increased interest from women in these roles, with several applying for jobs with different companies in the industry.

Karen Bennett, Education Team Leader at Community Rail Lancashire who organised the trip, is a Ravenscliffe resident herself. She said: “It’s so important to show local women what career opportunities are available to them and their family members. I absolutely love my job in the railway industry and know that it’s something I can do that supports my family and allows me to have valuable time with my son.”

Richard Yates, Midland Road Depot Manager, said: “It’s been great to host the group from the Gateway Centre at Midland Road. Showcasing our industry to women will support the diversification of our workforce, something we’re all striving to achieve. We’d welcome today’s guests to apply for the wide range of opportunities Freightliner has to offer.”

To see the current job opportunities at Freightliner, visit their website.