International Women’s Day: Keolis puts its efforts into recruiting more women

The public transport market is changing rapidly and recruiting employees for all types of positions, from drivers to directors. Wrongly perceived as being exclusively for men and without career prospects, Public transport is an innovative sector and is far from being reserved only for men. Keolis supports the efforts of its subsidiaries striving to promote inclusion and workplace equality.

At Keolis, drivers represent 80% of employees. But this strong need for labour, combined with the saturation of traditional job markets has led to a shortage of driving personnel. The trend is accentuated by the low number of women working in the industry. In fact, it’s an environment wrongly perceived as being exclusively for men and without career prospects, which is enough to put more than a few women off.

Public transport is an innovative sector and is far from being reserved only for men. That’s why Keolis has made a commitment to gender equality. What’s more, according to Marie-Caroline Colin, this sector is “one-part customer service and one-part technical ability”, contrary to common beliefs about public transport.

Daring women to imagine themselves as a driver

On 5 June 2018, as part of the last Keolife Week, Keolis Norge (Norway) had the great idea of inviting young female jobseekers to discover the career of being a tram driver. The event, spent onboard a tram in the company of experienced female drivers, allowed potential candidates to make the transition from customer experience to employee experience on the Norwegian tram network.

Similar events took place in Australia where Keolis Downer, operator of the Melbourne tram network, has been working on the project ‘Driven Women since 2013.

Women are the ones doing maintenance at Keolis Hyderabad (India)

More recently, Keolis Hyderabad joined the Group’s efforts by recruiting the first women for the Rolling Stock Maintenance department, a milestone in their Gender Equality programme launched in early 2016.

Awareness campaigns in our French subsidiaries

In addition to the partnerships Keolis has established with recruitment organisations such as Pôle Emploi, the French national employment agency, it has also invested in employee training to support the Keolis’ need for more drivers and maintenance workers.

But before you start training people, you need to attract the candidates in the first place. To do so, our French subsidiaries regularly run awareness campaigns on careers for female drivers as well as open-house events where existing female employees talk about their jobs and their experience.

It’s a way of attracting candidates who don’t initially feel concerned, and showing them that by joining Keolis they have access to a range of career choices.

GEEIS – Doing more for equality

At Keolis, three out of four employees have the good fortune to work for a subsidiary certified by GEEIS – Gender Equality European/International Standard. This certification recognises companies with a proactive approach to workplace equality. 
As well as the industry recognition it brings, the GEEIS standard encourages Keolis subsidiaries to adopt management tools which are useful for enforcing our gender equality policy. It also stimulates internal discussions and the creation of a common culture of diversity and equality within the Group, as demonstrated by the many projects and initiatives that have been carried out across out networks.

More Ways, More Life: A corporate promise that also applies to our employees

Thanks to its size, its international dimension, the diversity of work roles and a human resources policy that promotes the development of employees, Keolis offers both women and men who join the Group, a range of career building opportunities.

At Keolis, our employees are our best ambassadors. In fact, several of them have agreed to share their experience and career path. Their testimonials will be the focus of a series of videos which will soon be shared in our Youtube channel.