The women of FGV. 35 years on the road to equality

  Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana (FGV) joins the celebration of International Women's Day with an exhibition on the evolution of women workers throughout over 35 years of the company’s history. Until 31 March, the Lametro hall of the Colón...
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14 of March of 2023

The women of FGV. 35 years on the road to equality


Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana (FGV) joins the celebration of International Women’s Day with an exhibition on the evolution of women workers throughout over 35 years of the company’s history. Until 31 March, the Lametro hall of the Colón station and the Luceros lobby are hosting “The women of FGV. 35 years on the road to Equality”, a journey through the evolution of these workers starting before the creation of the current company and up to the present day.

Throughout over three decades, the human group that has been part of FGV has contributed its effort, knowledge and experience, enabling the entity to overcome successive stages and move from the Trenet de Valencia to a modern metro and tram network.

During this long process, the women’s participation in all areas of the company has been increasing and they represent an indispensable part of its daily operations. The exhibition in Lametro hosts the reproduction of a station before FGV, with its furniture, posters and different elements typical of the women’s work in the railway over the last century.



Of the 882 people (753 in Valencia and 129 in Alicante) who joined in 1986 during the process of transferring FEVE to FGV, only a small number were women.

In a sector as male-dominated as the railway, only 62 female workers, and 4 trainees, were part of FGV at its inception, representing 6.8% of the total workforce. 14 female workers were transferred from FEVE to FGV in Alicante, and 44 in Valencia.

Currently, 566 women work for FGV, representing 31.27% of the workforce and a considerable increase since 1987. The current FGV workforce is made up of 1,810 people.

The women of FGV

FGV is moving closer to parity and represents a sign of real and effective change. The new Line 10 incorporates technical innovation, but also a very important step in terms of staffing: for the first time, the majority of new employees are women.

Over half of the 70 people in charge of the daily operation of Line 10, including train drivers, regulators and intervention personnel in the stations and at the provisional depot in Natzaret, are women.

The women of FGV

Our Pioneers

Over these 35 years, many women have been paving the way for others, being the first to take on a position of responsibility or to work as supervisors, train drivers, at the control station or in workshops.

Ana María Ibáñez, current Head of Tram Lines, is one of those women who joined FGV at the very beginning. In 1980, she joined FEVE, becoming a Station Manager. When she joined FGV, she joined the Transport Area, where she worked in different positions.

In 1989, after the opening of the first underground metro section in Valencia, Gloria Alabau Moro and Ángela Barderas Fernández became ticket conductors, a position until then reserved for men.

The women of FGV

In 1991, María Antonia Sánchez Tortosa became the first Metrovalencia train driver, followed by Joana Moreno Regajo in 1993, and others who have subsequently joined FGV.

In 1994, Susana Ballester Torán became the first tram driver on the recently inaugurated Line 4, after joining FGV in 1991 as a station agent.

In Alicante, it would not be until the year 2000 when María Isabel Ortiz Moreno became the first driver of the current TRAM d’Alacant network, as well as the Limón Express. Itziar Baltanas Ugarte together with Mª Dolores Macías Nolasco became the first female ticket conductors of Alicante, also in 2000. In 2006, Ana Isabel Cano Cervera became the first woman supervisor of the TRAM d’Alacant.

It was not until 2006 that a woman, Pilar Bonifaz, became a tram line Control Station Regulator.

The women of FGV

In 2007, Alicia Murcia Pello was the first woman to enter the position of Metrovalencia lines Control Station Regulator, and that same year, María Pilar García Reche began the same position in Alicante.

Women were making their way into new areas of the company, but were still far from the workshops until 2014, when Cristina Pardo Pérez and Isabel López Pérez became the first female skilled workers in the workshop.

In the mid-1990s, after the incorporation of Pilar Valls in 1988 as Coordination Secretary, women began to take administrative management positions and technical tasks, like Begoña Salvador, who joined the Sales and Marketing Area of FGV.
The women of FGV

In 1999, Julia Iserte was the first woman to join FGV’s Technical Department as an engineering graduate, specifically in the signalling and communications area, taking a position that until then had been reserved for men.

In 2001, Remedios Fuensanta joined the Technical Area of Alicante to directly participate in the modernisation and implementation process of the TRAM d’Alacant.

Also at the beginning of this century, female graduates such as María Ángeles Hernàndez, Rosa Gutierrez, both in the Legal Department, Rocio Nieto or Esther Carbonell, joined the company and, together with a few others, began to take on positions of responsibility.

As part of this process, Amparo Palmero joined FGV in 1999, under the public programme named “Employment with Support”, with the Asindown foundation being the hiring promoter and FGV assuming the role of the “collaborating” company. In over 20 years with FGV, Amparo has worked different positions of ordinance in the offices of València Sud. In 2021, she received the Unstoppable award from the same foundation.

15 years of Equality Plans

FGV had its first Equality Plan in 2008, and the first monitoring committee for this plan was set up, made up of representatives of the company and of the different trade union sections involved. This body has promoted measures and objectives to develop actions to promote equality in the company.

As part of these measures, the monitoring committee appointed the Spokesperson for Equality from among its members, and at the end of 2016, the FGV Board of Directors approved the creation of a specific Gender Equality service, integrated into the Labour Relations department, with functions in Valencia and Alicante. FGV’s current Equality Plan was signed on 11 December 2019 by the company’s management and the union sections of UGT València, UGT Alicante, CCOO València, CCOO Alicante, SIF Alicante, SIF València, SEMAF Alicante, SCF València and SF-IV València.

As part of the actions included in the plan in 2021, more than one thousand FGV workers participated in a specific course on Equality. This was the first course, which, in a general manner, was provided to the staff of FGV in this area and aimed to introduce basic concepts related to equal opportunities between women and men.

Girls don’t miss the train

The exhibition also includes a reference to “Las chicas no pierden el tren”, (Girls don’t miss the train), the documentary directed by Paqui Méndez and starring a wide representation of female workers from the public company.

This production deals with the experience of different protagonists on the incorporation of women in a sector such as the railway industry, with FGV being the labour framework of the women who participated.

As a continuation of the documentary in 2022, the “Didactic guide to combat gender stereotypes in the railway industry” was presented, in collaboration with the Associaciò per la Coeducaciò, which aims to encourage female students to pursue the necessary studies to orient their careers towards this type of profession and company.