Women on the train! First „Female ICE“ travels through Germany 

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DB Chief Human Resources Officer Martin Seiler (left) and the Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey (centre) welcome the „Female ICE“ at Berlin Central Station. (Photo: DB AG/Dominic Dupont)

From locomotive driver to train manager – all-female staff on the branded ICE from Munich to Berlin – DB colleagues promote more women in technical professions and management positions – DB Chief Human Resources Officer Martin Seiler: „More recruitment commitments for women is a great success“.

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Munich/Berlin, 11 May 2022

Deutsche Bahn wants to become more feminine and continue to significantly increase the proportion of women in the Group. Numerous measures are already having an effect: more than 3,000 women were promised a job in the first quarter, almost three percent more than in the same period last year. The share of women in job applications is also higher than a year ago.

The labour market is picking up significantly, and at the same time Deutsche Bahn continues to hire at a very high level as part of its Strong Rail strategy. This year alone, DB again plans to bring 21,000 new employees on board. Among them are 5,200 junior staff – that is another record.

More women for the railways – this therefore also includes making DB women and their jobs more visible – and no one can do this better than the female employees themselves. Initiated by the network „Women at Deutsche Bahn“, a „Female ICE“ travelled from Munich to Berlin for the first time today.

From the engine driver to the train manager – only women were responsible for the specially branded train. In a special carriage, the organisers offered a special programme for dozens of female DB colleagues and guests. Along the route, too – in signal boxes, at stations and on construction sites – more female employees were on duty. In Halle and Nuremberg, DB colleagues also held events to inform interested women about job profiles and exciting projects. A total of more than 500 DB women wanted to send a signal with the campaign and encourage other women to also strive for jobs in male domains and in management positions.

The train was sent on its way in the morning in Munich by the Bavarian State Minister for Family, Labour and Social Affairs, Ulrike Scharf, and Ulrike Haber-Schilling, Member of the Management Board of DB Regio and member of the women’s network. The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, and Martin Seiler, Member of the Management Board for Human Resources and Legal Affairs at DB, were on hand at the main station to welcome the ICE in Berlin.

Martin Seiler, Member of the Management Board for Human Resources and Legal Affairs at DB: „We need significantly more women in technical professions and management positions. The ‚Female ICE‘ is a great project with which we are once again drawing attention to DB as an attractive employer. I would like to thank the many female colleagues who have put their heart and soul into bringing this special train onto the rails.

We have a wide range of measures in our portfolio to increase the proportion of women at DB. This is a central concern for the DB Group Management Board. And: every female candidate is important to us! The fact that the recruitment figures are increasing is already a great success.“

Franziska Giffey, Governing Mayor of Berlin: „Our working world should encourage all people to take up the profession they want. Unfortunately, role models and gender stereotypes are still often a major hurdle. The ‚Female ICE‘ with exclusively female staff is a great, supra-regional campaign by Deutsche Bahn. It shows in an exemplary way that women can pursue any profession and are supported by the company and the state in doing so – regardless of whether they are in the technical field or in management. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the train to Berlin – the city of women.“

Ulrike Scharf, Bavarian State Minister for Family Affairs, Labour and Social Affairs: „We will only overcome invisible barriers to advancement when women are represented in all sectors and positions. There are many strong women who do great work and are role models for others. They must also be visible! Deutsche Bahn’s ‚Female-ICE‘ initiative supports women who go their own way regardless of outdated role models. As Minister of State, it is very important to me that women seize the opportunities that are offered to them. We need more women in all professional fields and must work on this every day!“

Ulrike Haber-Schilling, Head of Human Resources, DB Regio and member of the network „Women at Deutsche Bahn“: „Women should dare, should make themselves visible – this cannot be emphasised and demanded often enough. With this lighthouse project ‚Female ICE‘, we want to encourage girls and women to always go their own way. The train is now firmly in female hands – and that also shows how much women move at the railway.“

The „Female ICE“ project also attracted attention in Brussels, where DB was recently awarded the „European Women in Rail Award“ as the „best employer for women in the European rail sector“.

Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport: „Less than a quarter of employees in the EU transport sector are women. And less than five percent are female train drivers. This is not good enough. To make more people – and especially women – choose a career in rail, the sector needs to become more attractive to a wider workforce – including through flexible working arrangements, part-time work, job sharing and childcare facilities. At the same time, gender balance, diversity and inclusion ensure an improved service for all rail passengers. Deutsche Bahn has recognised this and I am confident that other companies will follow suit.“

Around 50,700 women currently work for DB in Germany, which corresponds to a share of 23.4 per cent. The proportion of women in management is currently 25.5 per cent. The aim is to increase this to 30 per cent by 2024. The „30 measures for 30 per cent“ package of personnel recruitment includes, among other things, that more female candidates are put forward through early succession planning. At least one woman will be placed on the shortlist for management positions. The board of directors has a veto right when filling management positions. And: Every manager is called upon to make a contribution to the achievement of more women in leadership.

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