Women in rail sector


Forty-five women are driving trains in Poland and another 45 have already completed the first step on their way to driving trains themselves - obtaining their train driver's licence. More than 22 thous. women work on the railways in different occupations.

According to data collected by the Office of Rail Transport, there are 90 ladies in the train driving profession, half of whom have a train driver's certificate authorising them to drive. The highest probability of meeting a woman in the driver's cab is on a Polregio train. More than half (23) of the driving ladies have chosen to work for this carrier. In second place goes to PKP Intercity - 7 ladies drive there, of which 3 are certified to drive the fastest vehicles - Pendolino. In third place is Koleje Dolnośląskie, where 5 ladies work. Furthermore 5 of them work for various rail freight operators.

Moreover, 45 women have a train driver's licence issued by the President of the Office of Rail Transport. This document does not entitle them to drive trains themselves yet. In order to drive a train, a driver's certificate is still required, which is issued by the employer after training and passing an exam for specific types of vehicles. The data on certificates show that 31 ladies are certified to drive different EN57 vehicles, 17 are certified to drive SM42 diesel shunting locomotives, 12 are certified to drive ED72 and 10 are certified to drive different diesel passenger vehicles.

The average age of ladies with a train driver's certificate is 38. The youngest woman with a train driver's certificate is 25, the oldest 56.

In total, there are over 22,000 women working for different rail companies in 2021 - that's 21% of all people employed by rail companies. The largest number of ladies work as ticket agents - over 1.1 thous. - that's 94% of all ticket agents. 1.1 thous. (73%) work as a level crossing signalwomen, more than 900 (57%) as switchwomen and about 750 (52%) as train conductors.

These employment data of different rail companies include the so-called time-equivalent and are for December 2021, while the figures for train drivers are from 1 March 2023.

Data on female employment in the European Union is from 2019. The statistics concern only the largest rail companies in each country. However, they give some insight into the structure of railway employment in the European Union and Norway. The highest number of women working in the railways is in Estonia (51% of full-time positions), Latvia (47%), Lithuania (43%) and Sweden (33%). The fewest women working full-time in the railways are in Ireland (9%), Austria (11%), Portugal (13%) and Italy (15%). Poland was 8th in this ranking with 26% of full-time positions. Hungary reached

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