Interview with Susan Cooklin

Route Services Director at Network Rail

How long have you been in the rail industry and what inspired you to join the rail sector?

I’ve been in the rail Industry for nine years. I previously had a career in retail and corporate banking. I joined the rail sector because of the opportunity to develop my career and move to a different industry – an industry that continues to experience huge growth and change.

What is it about the industry that you love?

The people that I meet within this industry are remarkable. Wherever you turn, there are individuals willing to answer your questions, tell you how something works and engage with you about your role. The passion within the rail industry to deliver the best for the passenger each day is admirable.

What do you see as the challenges to attracting more women into rail and what do you think could be done to make a difference?

Part of the challenge is around perception. It is our responsibility to show the variety and diversity of not only the individuals working within the rail industry, but the activities that we undertake. This is important at all levels and initiatives such as this top 20 shortlist go some way to show the diversity of people and skills across our industry. The power of female role models in leadership positions should not be underestimated.

Has anyone inspired you during your career?

A senior woman early on in my career showed me that it was possible to have both a successful career and children – up until that point I felt the two things were mutually exclusive!

 

Interviewed August 2016