Hello and Welcome to Women in Rail Wales
WR Wales is made up of a committed collection of women from across the railway industry. Coming together to offer support for Women in Rail members working in the Wales and Western region to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in UK rail. The group is led by chair, Christine Fernandes.
“It is an honour to be the Chair of the Women in Rail Wales Committee. I have spent over 20 years in the industry, so have seen and experienced how the industry has changed. Through my career I too have faced some challenging aspects as a woman. Whilst there is acknowledgement and improvement, there is a lot more to be done.”
Christine Fernandes – Business Development, CAF Rail
The WR Wales Committee are excited about the opportunities we can provide to support and empower women in the industry. Providing a forum that develops and expands their local network, and provides an outlet that underpins and supports professional development, confidence and new opportunity.
In the longer term, to reinforce the Rail Industry as an attractive career route, we want to be more visible in the Welsh community and support and drive local initiatives.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the wide range of activities, events and opportunities, please register as a WR member. It is completely free and will give you access to all the local or national events organised by the group.
We look forward to welcoming you to Women in Rail Wales!
Christine Fernandes - Business Development at CAF Rail
Christine joined the rail industry as an undergraduate sponsored student. She has undertaken a variety of roles within the industry as well as spending some time out of the industry working in retail and property.
She currently works for the Spanish train manufacturer CAF in the Business Development function.
Christine is an electrical engineering graduate but has spent most of her career in management and commercial roles. She has spent her university education and working career in male gender dominated environments and is keen to take on the challenge of promoting diversity and the advantages of it.
Emma Dymond - CEO at Motion Rail
Surrounded by great role models, Emma Dymond was bought up believing gender has no boundaries. Joining the railway at 18 with the help of the Princes Trust, Emma became a maintenance cable jointer, Local Delivery Manager and Tester in Charge before she set up Motion Rail in 2009 and became CEO – a real boots on ballast to the boardroom career!
Named as the WiR inspirational woman of the year 2020, Emma is passionate about PEOPLE, believes empowerment is key and is committed to providing the right skills, tools and techniques to enable development.
Building the first virtual reality railway to deliver training, enabling people to learn and practice in a safe environment, Emma developed Motional Reality further and took the railway to the classroom! Engaging and inspiring the next generation, not for profit Motion Reality promotes diversity and continues the philosophy that gender has no boundaries, and we are all equal.
Gemma Southgate - Social Media Manager at Transport for Wales Rail
Gemma has been a member of the Women in Rail Wales committee since early 2019 and is committed to empowering women within the workplace and tackling unconscious bias. She is also an Equality Representative for the TSSA Trade Union.
Gemma has worked in the railway industry for 6 years, starting as a customer relations advisor and has a background in online customer service delivery.
Alison Thompson - Head of Asset Management Buildings and Structures at Network Rail
Alison Thompson works for Network Rail, Wales & Western, as Head of Engineering and Asset management, Buildings & Structures. She has previously worked as Director of Sponsorship Wales and Chief Operating Officer Wales. She is a chartered civil engineer and has worked in the rail industry, both main line and London underground for over 31 years.
Briony Thomas – Partner at Burgess Salmon LLP
Brioney is head of the Burges Salmon Transport team. She is nationally recognised for her expertise as a leading specialist rail lawyer and her ability to deliver commercial and pragmatic solutions that function within the complex regulatory framework and challenging operating environment of the railway. She was a special advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group inquiry into alternative structures for passenger and freight operations and was named ‘Individual of the Year (London)’ in the Transport category at The Legal 500 UK Awards 2019
Ivan Youd – Senior Policy Adviser (Rail) at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Ivan is a career civil servant with 34 years’ experience. 33 of those years have been spent in the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy. His career has seen him work in the VAT office, the Patent Office and he has experience in exports and international trade policy. Ivan has spent the last 10 years working on rail. His work includes knowledge of UK supply chain capability and supporting the rail sector deal, which has diversity and inclusion as a key deliverable. He has been a keen supporter of WR and YRP over those years. On a personal level Ivan spent 20 years growing up in Sub Saharan Africa and Hong Kong. He has a string of family connections to Wales with many still living in Penarth.
Alice Cowley – Commercial Analyst at Transport for Wales Rail
I am Alice Cowley, 25 years old from the Rhondda Valleys. I have been in the train industry for 5 years. I started as an Apprentice and am now a Commercial Analyst. I am passionate in ensuring fairness and equality for women in the railway industry and pride myself on being an active feminist.
Elizabeth Francis – Revenue and Pricing Assistant at Transport for Wales Rail
Lizzie graduated in 2018 with a degree in Business and Management with Finance and has been building her career in the Transport industry since. She started out in Public Transport Information, as a Data Assistant at Traveline Cymru, and is now a part of the Commercial Strategy team at Transport for Wales Rail.
Lizzie is keen to push for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and promote how the rail industry can help achieve gender equality goals.