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06-Nov-2020

Railway industry launches ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter’ to support diversity across the sector

Railway industry launches ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter’ to support diversity across the sector

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) and Women in Rail (WR) have launched a Charter to champion equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry. The joint ‘Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter’ is a commitment to work together to build a more balanced higher-performing sector and has been backed by over 100 organisations.

The Charter involves several key commitments, including to:

  • Appoint a member of the senior leadership team as an ‘EDI Champion’;
  • Agree an action plan, monitor and report on progress made;
  • Provide opportunities for training and education of employees, support the progression of diverse individuals into senior roles to improve diverse representation at senior and executive level of the UK railway industry;
  • Create a culture that fosters inclusion and provide a safe space for all employees to talk openly, including at industry events and in meetings; and
  • Make recruitment and progression processes accessible and attractive to all to attract retain and develop people of all backgrounds, ages, genders and identities.

The Charter is open to all companies, clients and organisations working in the UK railway industry who wish to play a role in promoting positive change in the rail industry. It seeks to recognise and build upon the progress which has already taken place, providing the basis to encourage further collaboration and action across the sector. 

RIA Chairman David Tonkin and Chief Executive Darren Caplan issued a joint statement, saying: “We are delighted to announce the EDI Charter in partnership with Women in Rail. Whilst there has been plenty of progress in the rail supply sector which we should be proud of, there is still more to do to promote diversity and equal opportunity.

“The rail workforce should be representative of a modern UK, providing an attractive career path to people of all ages from all backgrounds, and ultimately increasing the talent pool from which the future leadership of the rail sector will be drawn.

“We hope the Charter will help encourage not just equality, diversity and inclusion in the rail supply sector, but also diversity of thought, unlocking new talent and building a positive culture throughout the railway industry. We look forward to working with organisations from across the sector to ensure that rail remains a fantastic area to work in during the years ahead.”

 

Women in Rail Founder and Director Adeline Ginn MBE, said: “The rail industry has worked hard in the last few years to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within its workforce.  In these challenging times, it is important we strengthen these EDI efforts to ensure we attract and harness the skills, knowledge and insight from everyone representing all parts of our society and our customers.

“This Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Charter represents our industry’s commitment to openly support this agenda and we are delighted to be partnering with the Railway Industry Association, and all the signatories, on this exciting initiative.”

 

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, Network Rail, said: “We are proud to be signing up to the EDI Charter in partnership with The Railway Industry Association and Women in Rail along with other organisations. We all have a collective role to play in making a positive change in our industry, so we are pledging to collaborate and take actions that will promote better equality, diversity and inclusion in the rail industry. We have taken some positive steps forward in recent years but still have a long way to go, and together, we can really make the difference that is needed.” 

 

Staynton Brown, Transport for London’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent, said: “Throughout the history of Transport in London, people from all backgrounds have played a vital role as part of the workforce.  We are proud to join our colleagues across the UK’s transport industry in making this steadfast commitment and will work alongside our partners to ensure we are doing all we can to make it so. This charter is a great way to make sure that we continue to champion the importance of diversity and inclusion and embed it within our work.”

 

Women in Rail 2020 Inspirational Woman of the Year & CEO of Motion Rail, Emma Dymond, said: “Reflecting on the railway I joined almost 20 years ago as the only female in our telecoms maintenance team compared to the diverse “railway family” we have become today fills me with pride. As an industry, we have come a long way in creating a more gender balanced, inclusive environment for all. The WR and RIA EDI Charter is a great opportunity to align our efforts, share learning and best practice to inspire further equality, diversity and inclusion, encouraging a diverse workforce that will leave a lasting legacy for our future generations.”

 

Abu Siddeeq, Head of Customer Experience at LNER said:

“LNER is passionate and committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, reflecting the customers and communities we serve. We’re proud to sign this Charter and look forward to working with a range of organisations to help make the railway industry an even more welcoming and inclusive place to work.”

Signatories currently include over 100 companies from across the UK railway industry, such as: Department for Transport; Network Rail; RDG; NSAR; Transport for London and Transport for Wales; ORR; BTP; Southeastern Railway; HS1; leading OEMS such as Alstom, Hitachi, CAF and Bombardier; consultancy companies such Atkins, Jacobs, CPMS, Costain and also Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, Rail Alliance, Colas Rail, DB Cargo UK, to name only a few.

The Rail EDI Charter was launched today at RIA’s Annual Conference during the ‘Skills, opportunity and inclusion’ panel.

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to editors

  1. Read the full EDI Charter here. The Charter is open to all organisations in rail – further details are available on the website on how your organisation can sign up.
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. riagb.org.uk
  3. About Women in Rail: Women in Rail (WR), a charity founded in 2012, comprises men and women from the UK railway sector, working together alongside major stakeholders in the industry to support the development, promotion and attraction of women in the UK railway sector and, more broadly, improve gender balance, equality, diversity and inclusion in rail. WR holds regular networking events and development workshops across the UK through its 8 regional groups and runs a very successful cross-industry mentoring programme where both female and male mentees receive guidance from more senior industry professionals to support them in their professional development, personal growth and confidence. WR currently has 5,000 members representatives of all grades and roles and a wide range of companies within the UK rail industry. In 2019, WR launched SWIFT, a peer-to-peer network of senior men and women in rail which aim is to develop high potential women and foster the next generation of female leaders in UK rail. womeninrail.org