Tube targets women with tailored ad campaign

London Underground is targeting women’s magazines as part of an innovative
recruitment campaign to encourage more women to become train operators.

Last week adverts appeared in Girl About Town and Ms London after the
success of an advert placed in Cosmopolitan last October, which generated 1,400
applications.

The company is using the advertising campaign in an effort to increase the
proportion of women tube train drivers from 2.5 to 13 per cent by 2006.

Its new approach is already paying dividends, with 20 per cent of the 5,000
applications it has received since September coming from women.

The firm has recruited 81 women from a total of 586 new drivers since April
last year, to bring the number of female train drivers to 150.

But not all methods have worked. Visitors to its stand at the Cosmo Show
were more interested in fashion than trains.

Kevin Church, operational recruitment manager for London Underground, said
the company is thinking creatively to raise the number of women entering its
recruitment process, but he stressed that decisions would be made on merit not
gender.

London Underground sends out extra information for female applicants in its
application packs, which provides answers to frequently asked questions and the
chance to talk with a female train operator.

Church said increased recruitment of women train operators would help London
Underground to employ the 45 new train operators it needs every four weeks
until September 2002, to combat a turnover rate of 15 per cent and to provide
more trains for customers.

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