Freightliner and Pentalver, Genesee & Wyoming UK

Case study

Women currently represent just 20% of the transport sector — a staggeringly low statistic that two Genesee & Wyoming UK (Freightliner & Pentalver) employees are particularly passionate about tackling. The determined duo turned to WORK180 to help them show underrepresented groups what the transport industry has to offer and transform Freightliner and Pentalver into employers of choice for women.

Industry: Transport
Size: 2,500+ employees

Freightliner and pentalver logos

“The transport industry recognizes that it needs more women in the business. It’s great that we’re endorsed by WORK180 because it shows that we are doing something about it.”

Anika Shenfield Assoc CIPD
Talent Manager at G&W UK

The problem

Employers around the world partner with WORK180 in order to prove and promote their commitment to the careers of women. For the team at G&W UK (Freightliner & Pentalver), the challenge is particularly significant; as well as promoting Freightliner and Pentalver as great workplaces, they need to show women why they should choose the transport industry as a whole.

While women make up 47% of the UK workforce, they only represent 20% of the transport sector. As Freightliner’s Head of Corporate Communications, Lynn Crump, explains: “Transport is notoriously a white, male-dominated industry and it’s so difficult to attract women, particularly on the freight side because these are huge heavy trains that they drive. We really wanted to do something about it, predominantly in terms of women, but also to improve diversity and inclusion across G&W UK.”

It’s a difficult task, but one Lynn and her colleague Anika Shenfield have passionately undertaken alongside their current roles. They know what great opportunities G&W UK and transport as a whole currently can — and, with improvements, could — offer women, but they needed help.

Showing women what Freightliner and Pentalver have to offer 

While the G&W UK team understands that there is work to be done, their workplaces already offer many benefits and policies known to support the careers of women. These offerings, coupled with a clear commitment to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), qualified both Freightliner and Pentalver to be recognised as an Endorsed Employer for All Women as of 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Gaining the accolade of WORK180’s endorsement was an important step for Freightliner and Pentalver; it’s proof that they not only welcome women, but are actively supporting them to carve out a fulfilling career in transport. It also highlights their dedication to DEI, which is something 83% of women millennials actively seek out in an employer.  

“I don’t want women to think of it as a job, I want them to think of it as a career, because the industry that we’re in — whether it’s rail or road — is a great industry. And we’re a global company, so you could not just work in the UK, you could relocate somewhere too. There are certainly a lot of opportunities.”

Anika Shenfield Assoc CIPD

Talent Manager at G&W UK

“It’s about raising our profile to show we want to hire more women in our industry and in our business.”

Lynn Crump
Head of Corporate Communications at G&W UK (Freightliner and Pentalver)

Beyond the positive association of the Endorsed Employer badge, the WORK180 partnership offers a range of tools to help promote Freightliner and Pentalver’s employer value propositions to a highly engaged audience of women.

WORK180’s transparent job board

As well as only featuring Endorsed Employers, the WORK180 job board is known and trusted by job seekers for its dedication to transparency. This includes tables detailing the benefits and policies Endorsed Employers have to offer.

Due to the physicality of its frontline roles, G&W UK has long been focused on the health and wellbeing of its employees. Both Freightliner and Pentalver therefore offer flexible working arrangements and supportive benefits and policies, many of which are particularly conducive to the careers of women. The G&W UK team simply needed an outside perspective to help them see their offerings in this light, and the right platform to promote them.

“WORK180 really has shown us what we can do to improve our employee brand around advertising job vacancies. It’s just another way of looking at things,” says Anika.

Screenshot of WORK180 Employee story, Challenging perceptions as a woman freight train driver

Employee stories

The expert storytellers at WORK180 create engaging content that brings to life the positive impact Endorsed Employers’ benefits and policies are having on their workforce. Various research and our experience has proven that storytelling is significantly more influential (in terms of memorability and influencing candidate behaviour) than simply sharing facts.

One example is the story of Heather Waugh, a Freightliner employee who is currently the only woman freight train driver in Scotland. The WORK180 team collaborated with Heather to create and promote an article that articulated the benefits of being a woman at Freightliner in a real and relatable way. Currently, the inspiring blog is now one of the top resources candidates will find when searching ‘woman freight driver’ on Google.

Campaign features

By getting involved with WORK180’s global marketing campaigns, Endorsed Employers have the opportunity to promote particular benefits and policies that relate to important topics, like support for the LGBTQI+ community and women in finance

Anika says: “The beauty of working with WORK180 is that you can really take from it essentially what you need. It’s giving you the opportunity of somebody outside your organization saying: ‘Have you considered doing this? Or let’s celebrate what you are doing by joining these campaigns.’”

Screenshots of WORK180 campaigns inside illustrative internet tab

Targeting an engaged audience of women

In addition to the employee stories and campaign features, Endorsed Employers’ offering, roles, and relevant updates are promoted across WORK180’s various social media platforms.  

With a highly engaged audience of women, WORK180’s social media channels are the ideal channels for G&W UK to communicate Freightliner and Pentalver’s current and continuously improving offerings to potential candidates. For example, G&W UK is leading the way in its industry by introducing a generous gender-neutral parental leave policy. The policy change is a sign of support for shared responsibility and a small (but significant) step towards gender equity.

The results so far

Like many companies during 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic caused G&W UK to drastically reduce its hiring. Anika explains that this means the recent data doesn’t show the true value or potential of their partnership with WORK180. However, the team were keen to communicate the gains of remaining steadfast in their commitment to DEI and their position as an Endorsed Employer during this time. Lynn said:

“It’s not been a wasted opportunity because we are still looking at how we can improve diversity and inclusion and we are still forging ahead. [During that time] we had a successful International Women’s Day (IWD) event that WORK180 was very much a part of and it was great for some of our frontline women to be involved in that event.”

Over 50 women from G&W UK attended the IWD event, which was supported and attended in full by the G&W parent company Chairman, President, and CEO, Jack Hellmann. WORK180’s Louise Fowkes presented at the event and was able to ignite conversations that have led to the creation of the company’s new Female Driver Forum. Anika explains:

“At our IWD event in March, Louise was alarmed that we have a lack of facilities on the locos for women. We don’t have those facilities for men either, but it got us thinking about what we can do in that space. So we’ve actually created the Female Driver Forum so that their voices can be heard. It may be something that we got to eventually, but Louise questioning the way that she did made us think, ‘Let’s take action and get something positive out of this’.”

While the team would like to see greater numbers of applicants directly through the WORK180 platform, it’s the expert insight, external perspective, and overall focus that the team values the most. Lynn explains, “Before, we obviously knew we needed to do more, but we weren’t really focused. [The partnership] gives us the opportunity to really focus our efforts, with WORK180’s support.”

“It’s not just a tick in the box ‘you are endorsed’. You have to really make the most of what’s on offer, get involved in campaigns, and take up as much of the support, advice, and guidance that WORK180 provides.”

Lynn Crump
Head of Corporate Communications at G&W UK (Freightliner and Pentalver)

Is your organization committed to progressing gender equity? Take our endorsement check to see if you meet our minimum standards.