Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) celebrated International Women’s Day by holding a ‘Ladies Day’ recruitment event at their rail vehicle manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday, 8thMarch. The facility was opened by the Prime Minister in September last year.

As part of International Women’s Day, HRE has been encouraging more females to join its manufacturing and engineering teams.

Ninety women registered to attend the event. There were three sessions of 30 attendees, which included networking with the Hitachi Rail team and a visit to the production area to see the type of skills required in manufacturing trains.

HR Manager Julia Potts said;
“Although we have a large number of women working in Hitachi Rail in general, our manufacturing and engineering teams are not so equally represented. We thought it was time to try and improve the gender balance and dispel the myth that manufacturing is a man’s world.

“As we continue to grow our business there are many exciting career opportunities available. Many women may believe they don’t have the right skills needed to work in the rail industry but all of our jobs can be done by men or women.

“In the rail sector we look for people with skills such as problem solving, manual dexterity and precision – as far as I know these qualities are shared by men and women.”

Stacey Ord, one of the attendees at the event said;
“It was an excellent opportunity to look around the new facility, see the sorts of tasks involved and be able to ask questions to the team. To be part of Hitachi Rail is an opportunity not to be missed.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said;
“It’s fantastic that more and more women are considering engineering and manufacturing as a career option. The rail industry has one of the highest rates of growth of any sector in the UK today and Hitachi is committed to encouraging more women to pursue a career in this dynamic and rewarding industry.

“Hitachi is manufacturing the new InterCity Express Programme (IEP) trains for the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line, as well as AT200 commuter trains for Scotland out of our new facility in the North East. We need a diverse workforce to reflect society as a whole. These new Hitachi trains will transform travel along the lines they serve for many thousands of fare paying customers, a high proportion of which will be female.”