The fourth annual Women in Rail Awards ceremony was held on 30 September at the iconic Roundhouse in Camden, London. Bringing together leaders from across the industry, the 2021 awards celebrated individuals and businesses that have “made a signiﬁcant contribution to improving gender balance, equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry”. For a second year, RSK sponsored the Best Apprenticeship Scheme Award.
Adeline Ginn MBE, founder of Women in Rail and chair of the charity, opened this year’s ceremony. Bernadette Kelly CB, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, and Naga Munchetty, Journalist and Broadcaster, joined her as hosts for the evening’s events. During the evening, nine awards were presented to winners across five individual and four group categories. Two additional awards, a Highly Commended and Special Mention award, were given to “exceptional shortlisted nominees”.
Sarah Mogford, Divisional Director at RSK, presented the Best Apprenticeship Scheme Award, which RSK sponsored this year, to Avanti West Coast. The award aims to recognise businesses that successfully develop apprenticeship schemes and programmes that actively encourage more women into the rail sector. Celebrating those businesses that are investing in bringing new talent into the industry, the award marks the continued growth of the rail sector and the need to support diverse talent in order to continue this expansion. It is given to an organisation that has made “a real improvement in apprentices’ career progression within the organisation”, and one that supports these apprentices to join its workforce.
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past eighteen months, the Women in Rail Awards demonstrated the resilience of the industry and the strength of individuals who work within it. Adeline Ginn said, “This year’s Women in Rail Awards was very special. We celebrated the passion for equality and fairness in our industry, but also all those who stood up for our railway family values during the crisis.”