Hello and welcome to the Women in Rail South Regional Group!

Samyutha and Ruth have recently taken over as leads for Women in Rail South and would like to warmly welcome you to the group.

We want to support and empower women from across our network to develop personally and professionally, build confidence, and make connections across companies that will make our sector stronger.  We also welcome men to become part of the group and participate in events – real equality, diversity and inclusion requires all of us to come together.

The Southern Group covers the South and South West including: Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucester, Bristol, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

The group is led by Ruth Busby (HR Director, GWR) and Samyutha Bala (Head of Customer Experience, GWR), supported by a Steering Committee including: Ebony Soltani-James of ESJ Smart Marketing; Vicky Ager of Amey; Jenny Simms of Colas Rail; Anna Carder of Network Rail Wessex; and Allison Phillips, an experienced leader in rail.

We always welcome new ideas and energy and would warmly welcome volunteers to the Women in Rail South Committee.  If you are interested, please do let us know. 

We are all volunteers, collectively representing a cross section of the railway industry in the South region and are passionate about working with men, women, and like-minded organisations to support the diversity and inclusion ambitions championed by Women in Rail.

To make sure you do not miss out on any of these activities organised by the WR South Group please register on the Contact Us page and join the Women in Rail community in the Southern region. Membership is completely free and will give you access to the local and national events organised by the team.

Hope to see you soon!

Ruth and Sam

Email: South@womeninrail.org

Ruth Busby, HR Director, Great Western Railway

Ruth joined the rail industry in 2018 as HR Director for GWR and has championed the people agenda since her arrival.  At the heart of the agenda is connecting the understanding of how people drive business success with the importance of kindness and empathy.

Achieving inclusion and diversity is a passion for Ruth and has been a key feature throughout her career.  Before joining GWR Ruth worked in several sectors including defence, higher education, and the civil service.  Ruth is a qualified leadership coach, a Chartered Member of the CIPD, and trained mediator.

Ruth is delighted to be working with Sam to chair the WR South Group and is excited about the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the region.

Samyutha Bala, Head of Customer Experience, Great Western Railway.

Samyutha (Sam) joined GWR and the rail industry in 2014, after a varied career including stints in theatre, project management and as a dentist. She started off dispatching trains at London Paddington and has held a variety of roles in the 6 years she has been with GWR. She was a founding member and co-chair of GWR’s Women’s staff network and is passionate about the amazing role women play in the rail industry. She is looking forward to working with Ruth and the WR South Group and meeting some brilliant women and men who believe in a common cause.