CER engagement for more diversity

CER engagement for more diversity

In 2019 CER entered into the negotiations of a social partners’ agreement to promote the employment of women in the railway sector, together with the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF). Three years on a binding autonomous agreement was signed, making history as the first such agreement on gender equality in any sector at EU level.

Women represent only a little more than 21% of railway companies’ workforce, and the share is even lower for some professional categories. To avoid missing out on the many benefits – for all workers – deriving from a diverse and inclusive workplace, CER members have already put in place a wealth of concrete policies and measures in order to advance towards the goal of more diversity. This commitment is carried through at EU level to the social partner negotiations on the issue.

As representatives of rail employers and employees, CER, ETF and their national members are the best suited to jointly identify concrete actions that will attract more women to the sector and improve their working conditions inside companies. 

After four rounds of negotiations in 2019-2020, the activity was put on hold due to COVID-19, but negotiations resumed at EU level in 2021 resulting in a provisional agreement being reached on 30 June. Duly approved by both CER and ETF within their internal decision bodies on 20 September and 27 October respectively. The objective of reaching a binding agreement aimed at promoting employment of women in the sector was therefore attained and became official on 5 November 2021 at an official signing ceremony in Brussels. 

You can watch here how the agreement came about and what it now means for women in rail.

Find out more about the importance of more diversity in rail and what makes it an attractive sector to join:

Agreement text

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