Calling all bright sparks – plot your route into rail

We’ve said since day one, we want to be different. And by different we mean, equal. Our industry, like many others, has an imbalance of gender diversity at all levels. Along with our peers, it’s our collective responsibility to drive change. To break outdated stereotypes and clear the path for the next generation of women to find their route into rail.

It’s not brave, it’s not noble, it’s just common sense.


Former UK Transport Minister, Nusrat Ghani has signalled the need for change. It’s estimated that 50,000 more people are needed to work in rail between now and 2033. The demand for changemakers is of national importance. So this is our rallying cry to young women to stand-up and bridge the gap. 


We’d like you to meet some of our inspirational female colleagues. All at different stages in their career, hear their stories of how they’ve found their route into rail - so you can find yours.

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Photographs of Kerene Raymond, Operations Executive

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Photographs of Kerene Raymond, Operations Executive

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Photographs of Kerene Raymond, Operations Executive

Kerene Raymond, Operations Executive

How did you get into rail?
“I did a Masters in Geographic Information Systems. My first role was working at Network Rail, building the geography for a new train planning software.”

What do you do in rail?
“I work in the Operations team and look after everything you need to operationally run the railway such as timetables, performance and stations.’

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I believe the industry needs to make the jobs in rail attractive to women. We need to develop and promote from within.

Kerene Raymond, Operations Executive

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Photograph of Hannah Staunton, Head of Communications

Hannah Staunton, Head of communications

“For most of my childhood, I wanted to be a palaeontologist.
But it’s fair to say I don’t have the patience to dig up a plesiosaur with a teaspoon.”

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Photographs of Ellen Collins, Strategy Executive

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Photographs of Ellen Collins, Strategy Executive

Ellen Collins, Strategy Executive

How did you get into rail?
“I did a Masters degree in Public Policy and gravitated towards policies driven by wellbeing. When I saw EWR Co’s purpose, I realised that a major project like this was the perfect place to kick-off my career.”

What do you do in rail?
“As a Strategy Executive, I help set EWR Co’s long-term vision for the impact we want to have.”

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We need to get better at showing the breadth of opportunities that the industry offers. I never knew roles like mine really existed.

Ellen Collins, Strategy Executive

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Photographs of Margarita Ziborova, Head of People & Culture

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Photographs of Margarita Ziborova, Head of People & Culture

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Photographs of Margarita Ziborova, Head of People & Culture

Margarita Ziborova, Head of People & Culture

What do you do in rail?
“I’m Head of People & Culture, I hate the term HR. I work with people and for people. It’s the most rewarding thing for me to see how people grow and evolve.”

How would the industry benefit from more equal representation?
“Latest studies show that companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26%). Culture changes when there are women in the room.”

Railway is one of the most stable industries where people build a career for life. I would be very happy if my daughter becomes an engineer.

Margarita Ziborova, Head of People & Culture

Joanna Whittington, Non-Executive Director

How did you get into rail?
“I did a Masters in Transport Planning and Management while working as an Economist. I then went into Government to bring together all my skills. Previously, I was Chief Executive of Rail and Road and now I’m a Government-appointed Non-Executive Director for EWR.”

How can we attract more women to the industry?
“Talking about our jobs, mentoring and evangelising these things will help us attract the next generation of women. Diversity of thought and people setting up these programmes will only produce better decisions.”

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Photographs of Tanya Galliara, Head of Adjacent Transport Mode Integration

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Photographs of Tanya Galliara, Head of Adjacent Transport Mode Integration

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Photographs of Tanya Galliara, Head of Adjacent Transport Mode Integration

Tanya Galliara, Head of Adjacent Transport Mode Integration

What’s inspired you most in your career so far?
“I have truly benefited from support networks that encourage women and ethnic minorities into what is still, predominantly a male field.

I’m a qualified Engineer, and still consider myself, first and foremost, an Engineer.”

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Rachel Elson, Customer Service Director

How can we attract more women to the industry?
“We need to actively liaise with the education sector to share the great opportunities in our industry to inspire the next generation.

I’m a great believer that people are the secret sauce of DNA in any company. The industry is proud and steeped in history, but there’s now a great emphasis on change.”

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Photographs of Briar Wooldridge, Communications Executive

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Photographs of Briar Wooldridge, Communications Executive

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Photographs of Briar Wooldridge, Communications Executive

Briar Wooldridge, Communications Executive

What did you want to be when you grew up?
“Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something creative.”

How did you get into rail?
“After leaving uni and getting my first job in PR I knew I wanted something more. I now work in the brand and content team. I make sure that our branding is clear and consistent throughout the business.”

How would the industry benefit from more equal representation?
“By having more women working in rail you automatically have a completely different mindset and vision.”

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