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The European Women in Rail agreement signed by SNCF

The European Women in Rail agreement signed by SNCF
photo: SNCF press materials/SNCF
22 / 12 / 2021

SNCF, a national French rail carrier, has just signed the European Women in Rail agreement to bring attention to gender equality in the company, such as equal pay and supporting female recruitment. Many gender issues need to get solved as soon as possible, but so far, but the company is moving in the right direction.

Gender stereotypes are prominent in the toy industry, and thus, the perception of gender equality among kids is still distorted, which results in little girls not being interested in trains.

 Today most sectors and professions are dominated by one of the two sexes based on a study by INSEE. Despite the female empowerment among managerial positions in all activities, the evolution of the proportion of women is relatively slow in sectors heavily invested by men. Spreading awareness seems time-consuming and full of obstacles, but the desired target is right in front of us, and it will not disappear any time soon.

"With the signing of the Women in Rail agreement, we hope to pave the way for other sectors", specifies Anne-Sophie Nomblot.

Female empowerment in the recruitment department is one of the main topics that need to get solved. SNCF receives only 20%of the applications from female applicants that apply for positions in the technical realm. Many stereotypes and conventional images are the reason behind the small number of potential female employees. The train has only 23% of women and only 7% in the technical trades. Among the levers put in place, a cooptation bonus (sponsorship bonus in the context of hiring by recommendation) which is greater when the recommended candidate is a woman.

SNCF also arranges recruitment events exclusively for women.

 "We present our professions, and we explain why we must fight against preconceived ideas", stated Anne-Sophie Nomblot.

 “Women do not apply for train drivers because they imagine that it is incompatible with family life because of the schedules, for example. However, the job of the controller is much more inclusive when it comes to the same schedules, which means that it is a simple question of poor representation”, adds Fabienne Melay, co-ambassador SNCF Mixité Pays de la Loire.