A successful drive to increase the number of women train drivers by London
Underground (LU) has contributed to a much more reliable service for commuters.
For the first time, more than 5,000 rush hour trains have run without a
single cancellation due to driver absence and much of this success has been
attributed to the increase in women drivers.
The number of female drivers has jumped from 75 to 167 following an 18-month
recruitment drive, which included an advertisement in Cosmopolitan magazine and
led to 6,000 applications.
The initiative was launched because there was a shortage of drivers to cover
for sickness, holiday leave and essential training, resulting in a growing
number of train cancellations.
Angela Johnson, head of resourcing at LU believes that a combination of
extra female drivers as well as a 1.5 per cent reduction in sickness absence
through more efficient management have improved the service.
"The new female recruits have greatly contributed to the reliability of
the underground. It’s part of an all round strategy, as well as recruiting more
staff we’ve been improving the monitoring of sickness absence.
Johnson said LU was now looking at new ideas to attract more women to the