ARA launches groups for career development

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has created two LinkedIn groups to support women and young people in the industry.

The groups will create a space for discussion and career development, as part of the associations efforts to support women and young people working in rail.

As many workplaces have shifted to working from home and interactions online are becoming the norm, ARA CEO Caroline Wilkie said that discussions should continue, even when they are not face-to-face.

“With so many of us spending more time working away from the office, this is the ideal opportunity to build your social networks and be part of the discussion on the future of our industry.”

The groups are also open to those supporting and mentoring women and young peoples’ careers in rail.

“Our Women in Rail Network will bring together the many people in our industry that are championing diversity and supporting rich and rewarding careers for women in rail,” said Wilkie.

“I look forward to seeing past participants of the ARA Women in Rail Mentoring Program joining the network as we provide a space for conversation with those both old and new to the industry.”

For young rail professionals, many of whom will be the ones carrying out the expected infrastructure stimulus spending that will follow the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the space will provide a peer-support network as well as advice from those who have been in the industry already.

“The Young Rail Professionals Network will bring together the next generation of leaders in rail as we prepare for a new wave of investment in the industry over the next decade,” said Wilkie.

“Recruiters and managers will be encouraged to share their insights on building a successful career in rail to support young professionals as they chart their own path in the industry.”

The groups are open to ARA members, and will include case studies, news, and opportunities for collaboration, as well as personal stories and discussion.

“This is the ideal opportunity for our members to lead the conversation on issues that are important to them and help us shape the future of our industry in the process,” said Wilkie.

ARA launches e-mentoring program

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) is launching a new e-mentoring program for the rail industry.

The program builds on other mentoring initiatives run by the ARA, including its Women in Rail Mentoring Program to provide connections and advice for rail professionals, said CEO of the ARA Caroline Wilkie.

“Mentoring is widely acknowledged as an effective professional development tool across the world.”

The e-mentoring program has been designed to specifically continue to forge relationships within the rail industry while many work from home or separate from their colleagues.

“The digital nature of the program is well suited to accommodate current distancing restrictions in place in Australia and New Zealand,” said Wilkie.

The program will run for six months, from July to December 2020 and is open to all employees of ARA member organisations. 40 mentoring pairs will be selected. Wilkie said that the program is designed to benefit the whole industry.

“The ARA program offers rail employees mentoring by senior rail professionals,” she said. “It is particularly useful for those working in small to medium enterprises who wound not ordinarily have the opportunity to partner with mentors from across the industry.”

Pairs will be selected by the ARA Rail e-Mentoring Committee to find the best alignment for participants.

A program information webinar will be held on May 1 and applications close on May 25.

“The program is a fantastic opportunity for those wanting to advance their career and learn from the best in the sector.”