ÖBB: diversity in the railway sector

ÖBB: diversity in the railway sector
© ÖBB / Marlena König

ÖBB is making significant progress towards gender diversity in its workforce, demonstrating a progressive shift from its historically male-dominated composition.

In a recent review, ÖBB revealed an increase in the proportion of women in its workforce from 11.7% in 2014 to 16% in 2024, a noteworthy achievement in the industry.

Commenting on this positive trend, Manuela Waldner, ÖBB's Chief Financial Officer, said: "We have set the right course. This progress is part of ÖBB's wider commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse working environment, recognising the value of the different perspectives and skills that both women and men bring to rail and bus operations.

The changing nature of jobs at ÖBB, driven by digitalisation and technological advances, has opened up new opportunities for women. Tasks that once required heavy physical labour, such as shovelling coal and repairing trains, are now performed digitally, emphasising that there are no roles at ÖBB that women cannot excel in.

Looking to the future, ÖBB has set ambitious gender equality targets, aiming to increase the proportion of women across the Group to over 17% by 2026. This initiative is not limited to the general workforce, but also extends to the management level, where women already hold 19% of positions. This approach underlines the importance of diversity in driving innovation and resilience within the business.

The drive for greater gender diversity comes at a crucial time as ÖBB undergoes a generational change, with a significant proportion of its workforce approaching retirement. The company is on a recruitment drive, seeking 3,500 new colleagues to join its ranks each year. Emphasising the need for diversity for innovation, Waldner says: "We will only achieve this if we become more diverse overall and work in heterogeneous teams."

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