On the 14th April Women in Rail successfully launched its West Midlands Group, supported by the Young Rail Professionals West Midlands.
The theme of the evening was networking and why it matters.
Mel Clarke (Highways England) explained that networks are simply groups that people interact in and are either virtual (twitter, facebook, linked-in) or physical (social activities, work or organisations). She encouraged us to use networks for information exchange, developing skills, getting work done efficiently or for future priorities and challenges.
Susan Evans (Alstom) spoke about her own networking experiences and the influence this has had on her career. In 25 years, the only job she had applied for was funding for her university degree. All her subsequent jobs came from her networks via recommendations, approaches and offers.
Heather Douglas (YRP) gave the perspective of a young professional in the early stages of their career. Her message was clear: networking leads to opportunities, whether jobs, skills, awards or travel.
Thank you to all of the speakers for taking the time to share their experiences and also to Claire Burrows from Shakespeare Martineau for a great venue and refreshments and Michael Charteris, Chairman of YRP West Midlands, for introducing YRP and offering his support to WR on behalf of the West Midlands committee.