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Major Rail Industry Equality Survey 

29 March 2021

Transport union TSSA and University of the West of England have launched a ground-breaking equality survey aimed at understanding the state of the rail industry and are urging all rail workers to take part.

The survey is a follow up to the first ‘Equality in the Rail Industry’ survey undertaken six years ago, in 2015. The first of its type in the rail industry, the survey provided a wide dataset for academics to analyse and produced a pan-industry glimpse of equality and diversity in rail. 

The findings highlighted important issues - including that people with a disability were more likely to have suffered bullying and harassment but less likely to have made a complaint; that BAME staff were significantly more likely to be subject to disciplinary procedures and LGBT staff were significantly more likely to be subject to sickness monitoring procedures. 

The findings also reinforced that women and BAME people are less likely to be managers and feel that employers do not offer them equal opportunities.

The research led to TSSA launching the highly successful Inclusive Rail campaign and establishing a formal BAME network. Bargaining Standards for neurodiversity and LGBT+ inclusivity also followed and have been adopted by many employers.

Now, 2021’s follow up survey will allow academics and TSSA to track trends and changes to inform policymaking and priority campaigns for the coming five years.

TSSA Organising Director Nadine Rae said: “Equality is at the heart of what we do as a union, so regardless of whether you think equality is something that affects you or not, we’re urging everyone to take part.

“In this rail equality survey, we want to capture the full experience of those working in the rail industry, whatever their workplace or role. We hope to understand more about how people’s different characteristics intersect to impact their experiences at work, such as the experiences of BAME women, or LGBT+ people with disabilities.

“Given the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted inequality on many levels, it is more important than ever for TSSA to be leading on equality and build on the trailblazing work we’ve done on neurodiversity, LGBT+ role models and so much more.”

The survey information will be analysed by academics from the University of the West of England who will report to TSSA on their findings. Participants’ personal data will be kept confidential with TSSA, and any results or reports shared will not include information that will identify any individual. 

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