Rail Industry Celebrates the Women in Rail Awards 2024

The seventh Women in Rail Awards took place on Thursday 16 May at the stunning and iconic Roundhouse, Camden London.

The evening saw 13 awards being presented across team and individual categories, with a further 10 Highly Commended and a Judge’s Special Mention awarded to exceptional shortlisted nominees.

Delivered by Nimble Media, the event was attended by over 780 individuals from across the rail industry, coming together to celebrate colleagues, teams and companies, who work hard to support others and to help create a more gender-balanced, diverse and inclusive work culture in our industry.

Following the Champagne Reception, guests were serenaded to their seats by the Southeastern TRAX Choir. A welcome address from Chair of Women in Rail, Marie Daly followed by a keynote address from Nia Mellor, Detective Chief Inspector for the British Transport Police, marked the opening of the ceremony. Host, Kate Bottley – Vicar, Journalist, Media Presenter and Reality Television Star – added a witty commentary to the evening.

Ian Watson of TransPennine Express was presented with the Adeline Ginn Unsung Hero Award. A tragic event whilst driving a
train changed Ian’s life forever. He is now a key advocate for mental health at both TransPennine Express and in local communities. Ian helped to launch “Chatty Benches” and his work with men’s suicide prevention charity ‘Andy’s Man Club’ led to extensive media coverage.

Charity work, local community engagement and peer support were just some of the outstanding feats mentioned in the nomination for the 2024 Adeline Ginn Lifetime Achievement award recipient – Debra Iveson of Network Rail High Speed. Her passion, selflessness and dedication are described by colleagues as ‘truly unparalleled’ – as is her willingness to take on challenges beyond the job description, tackling extra projects with unmatched enthusiasm, and displaying a true passion for work that goes far beyond mere duty. This has included becoming a Mental Health First Aider to enable Debra to better support her peers; raising money for breast cancer charities through walking challenges and collecting bras (which not only helps raise vital funds for pioneering breast cancer research but also offers a new lease of life to bras in developing countries); and organising school assembly sessions in her local area – personally visiting schools to engage children in discussions about the risks associated with trespassing on the railway.

The judges specifically requested that all the nominees be commended for their hard work, selfless dedication, and commitment and that a huge thank you be directed to all those who were nominated for this year’s Women in Rail Awards.

The full list of Winners, Highly Commended and Shortlist is available to view on the Women in Rail website.

Marie Daly, Chair of Women in Rail and Chief Customer & Culture Officer at Transport for Wales said: “I am proud to be carrying on the journey started by visionary, Adeline Ginn MBE, who established the Women in Rail charity over a decade ago to improve sector diversity by supporting women across the industry. Unquestionably, more companies are recognising and committing to addressing gender imbalance, encouraging females to join the industry and embracing the business benefits of having a more diverse workforce.”

“This year’s Awards has provided further evidence to support this – with over 380 entries received and 81 shortlisted nominations – in a year described by one judge as ‘the hardest year to judge yet!’ The 2024 winners are proof that UK Rail is driving the EDI agenda forward.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank and celebrate all the nominated individuals and companies – all truly inspirational in their own right – whose passion and determination will continue to drive forward the progress and changes needed to improve the gender balance and EDI across the sector. Thanks must also go to our 2024 Sponsors, the Women in Rail members, volunteers, trustees and regional teams for their collective contributions – and of course, to everyone who attended the event.”