Welcome to Women in Rail’s Mentoring Programme!

A sustainable, scalable and transferrable cross-industry Mentoring Programme delivered by Women in Rail in collaboration with Moving Ahead.

We are delighted you are interested in taking part in the Women in Rail cross-industry mentoring programme. The purpose of the programme is to provide a support platform for women and men in UK rail, champion diverse thinking, cross-fertilisation of ideas and networks and promote diversity in rail, starting with gender diversity as the core focus, but embracing broader diversity over time.


Watch WR Mentoring Showcase 


Partnering with Moving Ahead

Women in Rail is running the Women in Rail cross-industry mentoring programme in collaboration with Moving Ahead, a specialist company that is behind the design and management of the mentoring algorithm which supports the matching of mentors and mentees for the world’s largest cross-company mentoring programme on behalf of the hugely successful 30% Club. In the last six years, over 30,000 learning individuals, from more than 300 organisations and more than 30 sectors, have taken part in a Moving Ahead or Women Ahead programme.


Key features of the Women in Rail cross-industry mentoring programme

The Women in Rail cross-industry mentoring programme is a pioneering programme designed to help participants progress in their career and to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry. The programme has received endorsements from DfT, RDG, BEIS and key rail companies.

Mentors are senior men and women professionals working in UK rail and mentees are junior men and women working in UK rail.

Mentees are matched with a mentor from a different company, based on the requirements they have entered on their profile – including location, personal interests, technical skills and experience.

Male mentees are matched with a female mentor (to the extent possible), to promote inclusion and diversity of thoughts. Female mentees are given priority in terms of their matching preferences (as entered on their profile) and matched with either a female or a male mentor.

The matching is then carried out by an algorithm with each match being reviewed and approved by the Women in Rail mentoring team at Moving Ahead.

Mentors and mentees receive professional training and guidance on their mentoring journey via a mentoring pair guide and live events throughout the programme.

Mentors, mentees and programme partners are also encouraged to attend all three learning/networking events where they have an opportunity to ask questions and receive additional guidance but also expand their network within the UK railway industry.


Top three benefits for…

Participating organisations:

  • The programme assists with career development planning.
  • The programme is a proven, powerful and practical way to impact D&I goals, gender pay gap reporting and gender balance, beyond internal programmes.
  • The programme has been tried and tested and represents global best practice and continued innovation in mentoring.


  • The programme develops skills, knowledge and confidence through transferable skills and human relationships with built-in accountability.
  • The programme supports mentees in taking control of their careers and gives them inspiration, support and challenges them to move forward.
  • The programme exposes mentees to a global community of like-minded individuals, expanding their network and also developing networking skills.


  • The programme makes gender diversity issues tangible for mentors, turning them into advocates and facilitators of wider culture change.
  • The programme helps leaders connect to meaning in their own careers and inspires them to stretch further.
  • The programme gives mentors a vital insight into other rail organisations, builds and develops transferable skills and expands their network further.

Case studies

Here are some case studies:
WR Case study-Carolyn and Lucy
WR Case study-Lei and David


What the programme involves

Nine-month structured developmental mentoring programme, where pairs meet every 4-6 weeks and have access to an online learning hub with mentoring resources
Expertly matched pairs, where mentors and mentees both benefit and learn
A series of five live and digital events to engage, educate and inspire
World-leading speakers delivering thought-provoking and educational content
Mentoring training to ensure the opportunity to participate is maximised



The programme is funded by participating companies from the UK railway industry.

Programme partners put forward an equal number of mentees and mentors from their company. Moving Ahead expertly match them to a mentor/mentee in a different company.

2023 Fee Number of pairs Cost per person
£4,000 5 pairs (10 people) £400
£7,000 10 pairs (20 people) £350
£12,000 20 pairs (40 people) £300
Note: All costs are exclusive of VAT.


Women in Rail Charitable Pro-Bono Fund

As part of its repowered programme, Women in Rail has created a charitable fund, the Pro-Bono Fund.

The purpose of the Pro-Bono Fund is to enable women associated with the UK railway industry to take part in the programme as a mentee free of charge (a Pro-Bono female mentee).

Eligible women are job seekers, women in transition, on care leave, or women from organisations not able to take part in the programme, with consideration being given to Women in Rail’s core aim of promoting diversity in UK rail (specific and strict eligibility criteria apply).

The Pro-Bono Fund is sponsored by participating companies who are made aware of this initiative when signing up, and given the opportunity to either:

  • Put forward one additional mentor (i.e. 11 mentors and 10 mentees)
  • Put forward one less mentee than mentors (i.e. 10 mentors and 9 mentees)
  • Make a donation of £250 to sponsor a Pro-Bono mentoring place for a Pro-Bono female mentee.


The Women in Rail cross-company mentoring programme 2022 – a few interesting facts

  • 91% of mentors and 79% of mentees would recommend the programme
  • 56% of mentees have been promoted, expanded responsibilities or moved roles during the programme
  • 59% of mentees feel more confident as a result of the programme
  • 44% of mentees feel well equipped to network and self promote – this has doubled compared to earlier in the programme
  • 59% of mentees and 45% of mentors are looking at their workplace differently

This is fantastic!


Next Steps (including timeline)

View the latest Information Pack here and reach out to Moving Ahead at contactus@moving-ahead.org to discuss any questions you may have and receive the registration link to sign up for the next cohort.

  • November: Organisations register to join the next cohort and identify their dedicated Programme Partner
  • December – January: Programme Partners to identify their mentees and mentors through an internal application process, ensuring mentees and mentors understand the aim and purpose of the programme, agree to the commitments of the programme, meet the criteria of a mentee/mentor, and have voluntarily applied for the programme
  • February: Programme Partners to submit the details of their pairs and ensure their mentees and mentors have completed their profile forms. Moving Ahead completes the matching process and quality assurance checks.
  • March: Launch Event
  • May: Masterclass 1 Event
  • June: Midway Event
  • September: Masterclass 2 Event
  • November: Close Event

Please note the above timeline is indicative for planning purposes and may vary year on year, but exact dates will be shared upon registration.