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Presenting Women in Rail

Category: Women, inspirational women, International Women's Day 2020, senior women, career for women

Improving gender diversity in rail            


What successes have you had in the past year?

International Women’s Day (IWD) was held in Bristol before lockdown. 50 colleagues attended the celebration, including guest speakers Robin White, now barrister for human rights but former employee of British Rail, Women’s Aid our sponsored charity, and Jackie Townsend, Managing Director of Trams operations.


Train naming and all women train – as part of IWD we named a train after Odette Hallowes and held a first ever all women train, entirely crewed by women from GWR and Network Rail (NR). It was diagrammed, signalled, controlled and dispatched by female colleagues across the route. GWR and NR jointly won an award for their efforts on IWD. You can watch a video from the day to find out more.


We need to talk about… parenting – We kickstarted a series of discussions about important things we need to talk about that affects our lives, both in and out of work. The first discussion was on parenting and everything associated with it.


Pensions webinar – during WIR’s first virtual event they covered information about pensions and Brass, followed by a Q and A to finish.


Menopause Awareness Month – During Menopause Awareness Month WIR hosted a webinar to help not only colleagues but managers.

Community visits – before lockdown WIR did a few school visits, as well as a career fair with the Apprenticeship team at a school in Swindon.


What are your plans for the future?

WIR are making plans for upcoming events:


Christmas – Christmas is nearing, and WIR would like to arrange a raffle for Women’s Aid. They would also like to gather Christmas presents for shelters across the network.

International Women’s Day 2021 – WIR are looking into hosting a virtual for 2021.

More webinars will be held, and a potential podcast could be introduced.

School visits – We’re looking at ways to connect with schools during this difficult time such as Zoom calls to promote GWR as a great place to work.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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Great Western Railway

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