In January, we unveiled a mural at Euston Station celebrating Karen Harrison, who in 1979 overcame prejudice to become one of the first female train drivers in the UK, as part of our campaign to encourage more women to follow in her footsteps.
Designed by renowned street artist, Akse, the mural intends to help tackle the stereotype that train driving is a job for men. Alongside, we pledged to increase the percentage of female recruits to 50% by 2030, by breaking down the barriers for women entering the rail industry, including changing the way the business recruits to make it more female friendly.
Despite Avanti already being ahead of the industry average with 13% female drivers, the reminder of Karen’s achievements seeks to inspire the next generation and is the first part of a long-term drive to increase the number of female drivers on the West Coast Main Line.
Record numbers of female applications were received in this latest round of driver recruitment. Over 1500 applications from women were received, all hoping to secure one of the 100-120 new driver roles with Avanti West Coast. Successful applicants at depots across the UK will commence their training later this year and into 2024.
To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, we announced the image will not be removed as originally planned. It has also been updated with new wording as it continues to convey its message.
You can find the full press releases and a video about our campaign here and here.