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 co-chairs Gemma Southgate and Siân Bowers.
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!
Gemma Southgate - Social Media Manager at Transport for Wales Rail
Gemma Southgate – Customer First Manager Transport for Wales
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.
Gemma is a member of the TSSA Trade Union Executive Committee and the General Federation of Trade Unions Executive Committee. She is also an Equality Representative for the TSSA Trade Union within her workplace and is currently campaigning about period dignity and Allyship in the workplace.
Gemma has worked in the railway industry for 8 years, starting as a Customer Relations Advisor and has a background in online customer service delivery.
Siân Bowers - Major Programmes Strategic Interfaces Lead, GBRTT
Siân has worked in the railway industry for over 13 years, starting on the Network Rail graduate scheme, undertaking various placements and roles across the business.
Siân has worked in the Sponsorship function in NR for the last 10 years, delivering enhancements schemes across Wales. Siân is currently on secondment to GBRTT as Major Programmes Strategic Interfaces Lead working to ensure that the benefits from major programmes such as HS2 and IRP are maximised.
As a mum of two young children, Siân is passionate about achieving equity for women in the workplace, especially supporting women who are juggling career progression with the challenges of motherhood.
Brioney 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.
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.
Chloe Thomas – Fleet Support Engineer, Transport for Wales
I joined the railway back in 2015 as a fleet maintenance apprentice down at Canton depot. I fully enjoyed learning on the job as well as furthering my education in college up to HNC level during the apprenticeship. I went on to be a fully qualified maintenance technician working across the different fleets that we run. Being the first female maintenance technician gave me great pride and to see we now have other female apprentices is amazing!
Over 6 years later, I have worked my way up and I am now a Fleet Support Engineer working towards a BSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering in which I am in my final year. I have had great support from the Engineering Department in furthering myself and growing within the business and
I am always pushed to be the best I can be.
From apprentice, to technician, to engineer – I’m looking forward to my future within the industry and playing my part to help transform rail in Wales.
Fiona Jones -Operations Manager at the IFS Cloud Cable Car (Transport for London)
Originally from Llanelli, Fiona has worked at Transport for London for close to 10 years, working in a number of areas including London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Surface Transport as well as Projects and Programme Delivery.
Fiona has a safety background and is keen to bring a health and wellbeing angle to WIR as well as encouraging collaboration and best practice across the railway.