Women in Rail – Weekly Update 05 04 24

This week’s update starts with some irony at the start of Stress Awareness Month an incident at home prompted a bout of stress I am pleased to say it does not happen often… my eldest daughter had a fall coming out of the garage and banged her head 😫 to the point it was bleeding and had a lump like a golf ball… at these times our children no matter their age become our babies once again… I am glad to say my first thought was I hope she is okay, I am then sad to say my second thought was I cannot be off tomorrow as I needed to be at my first meeting face to face – my dread was giving the reason I would be on teams was due to childcare.

I am pleased to say no one at work would have made me feel like that, however it was my internal voice. This is the stress I gave myself, meaning I did not sleep that night and started my week in deficit… Over the years through courses and experience, I have built up many coping tools in my toolbox 🧰 to deal with stress; and as an industry wellbeing live has provided us with a platform to talk openly about stress and wellbeing Ruth Busby OBE Rail Wellbeing Live, I took the opportunity to access this resource to refresh myself on coping tools below is the link to a 5-minute video.


I would like to think as a leader when someone had to make that call to tell me they needed time off for childcare they know it would never be a problem, however, I might just check that at my next team meeting 🧐 💭 I am sharing this as I know like me a lot of members still feel like this and starting the conversation on what sometimes feels like a taboo subject is what creates the change we want to see. -#singlemumguilt #bekindtoyourself ❤️

A few more 1-2-1s this week with my fantastic trustees talking blogs and vlogs with Neil Robertson and why for some of us (i.e. me) this is just not natural territory #overtthinkingit. We also discussed the plans to share the output of the NSAR and WR gender data survey. On the 16th of May at our Corporate Members lunch we will share early sight of the output of the survey. Catching up with Sharon Salmon (she/her) was more like a joint coaching session setting the world to rights and talking about the power of working in an organisation where the purpose matches your own values #magic 🪄 – thank you Sharon for all you do with EDI charter 👏👏👏

As I write this I am just travelling back from the “big smoke” after attending the launch of the 2024 mentoring programme. One of my first jobs as Chair of WR was to close out the 2023 cohort that feels like 5 minutes ago 🕰️ 💨 . The mentoring programme sits at the heart of what WR stands for attracting, supporting, growing, and retaining women within the Rail industry. We are enormously proud of the great collaboration we have with our partners Moving Ahead.

This year is our biggest cohort yet so thanks to all the businesses that support the programme. You are not only supporting growth in your organisation your support ensures as a charity that WR can continue to drive gender equality across our industry by providing free access to all our members to resources that support them in the workplace and in their careers.

39% of last year’s participants said that through the programme they unlocked an idea for their organisation so it is great for business as well.

Thank you to Lis Cashin for stepping in to support the event last minute, it is great to hear you talk anytime  💬 but especially on women promoting women 👩🏽🤝👩🏼#powerful. Get well soon Tanya 🫶🏻 Tanya Gordon

There were many amazing speakers today, however I had three takeaways.

Darren Edwards the power of having a vision and not been frightened to fail. Creating a clear path to “north” 🌟 to achieve that vision really resonated with me on many levels, and I know it did for many members in the room. Darren, I did the 10 mins I committed to 💪

Lucy Gardiner what an inspiring journey you have had, thank you to you and PwC for hosting the event in your amazing offices. Thanks also for sharing the PwC report on delving deeper into the gender pay gap.The impact when you shared the gap will not be addressed for 43 years was mind-blowing for many of us this will be when our children are retiring #pauseforthought.

It made me reflect on the TfW gender pay gap report we issued this week and how immensely proud I am of my teams for creating clear plans that have driven a reduction in the gender pay gap for the second year running. However, like most of the industry, we still have a long way to go #letsdobettertogether.

I am a big believer in ‘what gets measured, gets managed’ so working with NSAR WR will be commissioning a piece of analysis on the gender pay analysis for the industry which we will share over the coming months.

Louise Greaves network rail quote “this is the best programme there is” Rajinder Pryor MBE ਰਜਿੰਦਰ ਪ੍ਰਾਇਰ ਐਮ.ਬੀ.ਈ and Moving Ahead pocketed that one time now take a bow for all your hard work 😉 and I could not agree more. I think the programmes USP remains that mentees and mentors are from different organisations – last year 76% of participants said that they learnt something new that changed their behaviour.

This week also marked the start of Control Period 7, a lot of work across the industry to create the right plans that will hopefully deliver the changes we need to see for our customers. Network Rail this is a great video – It was great to see Ellie Burrows Regional Managing Director in the promo showing a north star for women in rail who want to set a vision to be operating in the industry at this level

To all you fantastic Mentors and Mentees: Good luck and I look forward to regular updates


Marie Daly