Union Pacific Railroad has achieved pay parity, the company said in a March 7 report. While women in the U.S. aren’t expected to reach that milestone for decades, “we’re already there,” it said.
The employer said the findings were based on a third-party evaluation that found no statistically significant difference in pay across gender or race.
Union Pacific’s board of directors also includes four women and three people of color on a 10-person board, according to the report. The changes stem from “deliberate steps to ensure the company’s leadership reflects the evolving representation of the railroad’s workforce and communities where employees live and work,” the company said in a statement.
Women, however, make up a small part of the railroad’s workforce and the report included details about the railroad’s recruitment efforts and goals for the future.
“Union Pacific is committed to supporting the transition to a more sustainable future, one that fosters diverse and inclusive environments, provides innovative economic solutions, pursues clean air and plentiful water supplies, and improves the quality of life for everyone,” Beth Whited, chief human resource officer and executive vice president for sustainability and strategy at Union Pacific, said in a statement.
Specifically, Union Pacific said it intends to double its representation of women to 11% and increase representation of people of color from 30% to 40% by 2030.
In addition, the railroad’s report highlighted recent national union negotiations and historic wage increases, which yielded a 24% pay boost for craft professionals that will push average railroad salaries to $110,000 per year by 2025.
To attract new employees, accelerated recruitment efforts were put into place, which helped to exceed the goal of hiring 4,000 new employees. In some markets, this included incentives up to $30,000.
Union Pacific also emphasized internship and skills-based programs for students across the country, as well as training for current employees. In 2022, the railroad averaged nearly 47 hours of training per employee, marking a 62% year-over-year increase.
Union Pacific called attention to recognition from outside groups, including a 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQ+ Equality, a No. 1 rank by Just Capital in America’s Most Just Companies for the transportation category, and a 90% on the 2022 Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN.