John Holland regional rail reaches gender parity

John Holland is leading the way on the Country Regional Network (CRN) by reaching 50 per cent gender parity in its senior management team, at a time where women make up only 17 per cent of senior management roles in the Australasian Rail Industry.

CRN CEO Matt Jones said gender parity was achieved this year by promoting women within the organisation. Anna Fletcher has been appointed to lead Rail Safety, Risk and Assurance within CRN and Kavita Dass has been appointed to lead Business Services. They join People, Culture and Stakeholder Relations manager Donna Hoblos and Executive Assistant Leanne Hilton on the senior team that reports to the CEO.

“The rail industry is historically male dominated.  Whilst much has been achieved in our industry’s 160+ year history, we have had very low numbers of women in the industry generally, and in senior management roles specifically,” Mr Jones said.

“That’s why I am really excited to have a new senior leadership team that includes 50 per cent women. It is important to me to have a diversity of experience, thinking and ideas amongst my leadership team. 

 “It encourages us to think beyond the way we have always done things, and provides us with opportunities to learn, grow and improve.  It’s early days, but I am already seeing the benefits of equality within my team, and I am confident it will give us a competitive advantage.”

The latest gender diversity report card from the Australasian Railway Association finds that women make up 21 per cent of the rail workforce, and 17 per cent of senior management.

The Country Regional Network has also achieved 45 per cent female employment for its Network Control Officers.

Network Control Officer Renae Young said she has enjoyed the challenge of working in a male dominated industry.

“I like competing with the guys. I’ve worked in rail before, but in the customer service and contracts area. Coming into John Holland and into the Network Control Officer role has been an opportunity for me to prove the women are just as capable as then men when it comes to Network Control Work,” Ms Young said.

John Holland CEO Joe Barr congratulated the CRN team for leading the way in boosting female participation in the rail industry.

“We care about being a business that provides the same opportunities for growth for our male and female employees. I’m proud to see CRN making real progress towards making John Holland a fairer place to work,” Mr Barr said.

John Holland’s Country Regional Network maintains and operates more than 5,000 kms of rail infrastructure on behalf of Transport for NSW.