Where do you work, what do you do?
I work for Alstom as an EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) Manager. I ensure the train care centre is compliant with environmental and health and safety law and advise them on how to work safely.
Please tell us about your background?
I’m 25 and live in North Wales, I graduated in 2013 with a 2.1 in Environmental Health.
What has been your career journey so far?
Alstom is where I started my career in Health and Safety after taking a year out after my degree to travel around Australia. I started off at Chester as an EHS advisor/admin. From this role I proved myself to be successful and was asked to assist on behalf of EHS for a new depot that Alstom were opening in Widnes. During this time I was also promoted to EHS manager at Chester.
What factors did you consider when joining the railway industry?
I knew the work carried out in the industry is high risk and that I would have to learn all about trains as part of the job but I saw that as a challenge.
What in rail are you passionate about?
The people. Everyone is supportive and helpful.
What motivates you to put forward your greatest effort?
The fact that I have achieved quite a lot for my age so far.
What aspects of the job do you (or your journey to date did you) find the most challenging/rewarding and why?
Learning the technicalities behind trains. To understand the H&S risks of something you need to know how the train works and the activities associated. I’ve spent some time on night shifts to improve my knowledge of the train and I try to spend as much time on the shop floor as possible.
What has been your biggest success to date and what contributed to that success?
Becoming a permanent full time EHS manager at Chester. I had an ‘acting’ title for 8 months and in October 2017 I was given the full time position.
How do you balance home and work life? What advice would you give to other women?
My commute time is 1 hour each way so my working day can sometimes be quite long. The best thing for me is to make sure I get an early night and fit the gym/exercise in wherever possible to keep me sane!
In your opinion, what is the recipe for success?
For your career – Always be ready to say ‘yes’, take on new challenges and opportunities and prove yourself to be reliable.
What would be your advice to young women entering the industry?
There are more and more opportunities opening up to women in the rail industry, don’t be put off by the fact it is a male dominated industry – whether someone is male or female shouldn’t matter.
Interviewed November 2017