The Railway Industry Association (RIA) and Women in Rail (WR) have partnered to launch the “Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Charter,” also known as the EDI Charter. This collaborative effort is dedicated to championing equality, diversity, and inclusion within the UK railway industry. With the support of over 100 organizations, the Charter aims to build a more balanced and higher performing sector.
Key Commitments of the EDI Charter
- Appointing an ‘EDI Champion’: Each company commits to appointing a member of the senior leadership team to champion equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Developing an Action Plan: Signatories of the Charter agree to create an action plan and regularly monitor and report on the progress made.
- Providing Training and Education: Opportunities for training and education will be provided to employees, focusing on supporting diverse individuals in advancing into senior roles to improve representation at the senior and executive level.
- Fostering Inclusive Culture: The Charter aims to create a culture that fosters inclusion and encourages open dialogue among employees, both within the organization and at industry events and meetings.
- Accessible Recruitment and Progression: Signatories commit to making recruitment and progression processes accessible and attractive to individuals from all backgrounds, ages, genders, and identities.
Impact and Collaboration
The EDI Charter is open to all companies, clients, and organizations operating in the UK railway industry, offering them an opportunity to contribute to positive change. The Charter recognizes the progress already achieved and aims to encourage further collaboration and action across the sector.
Statements from Industry Leaders
Several industry leaders have expressed their support for the EDI Charter and its objectives:
- RIA Chairman David Tonkin and Chief Executive Darren Caplan highlight the need for diversity and equal opportunity, aiming to make the rail workforce representative of a modern UK.
- Women in Rail Founder and Director Adeline Ginn MBE emphasizes the importance of harnessing skills, knowledge, and insight from individuals representing all parts of society.
- Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail, stresses the collective responsibility for positive change in the industry.
- Staynton Brown, Transport for London’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent, emphasizes their commitment to championing diversity and inclusion.
- Emma Dymond, CEO of Motion Rail and Women in Rail 2020 Inspirational Woman of the Year, reflects on the progress made and the opportunity to inspire further equality, diversity, and inclusion.
- Abu Siddeeq, Head of Customer Experience at LNER, expresses LNER’s commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The EDI Charter has garnered support from over 100 companies in the UK railway industry. Some notable signatories include the Department for Transport, Network Rail, RDG, NSAR, Transport for London, Transport for Wales, ORR, BTP, Southeastern Railway, HS1, leading OEMS such as Alstom, Hitachi, CAF, and Bombardier, and consultancy companies like Atkins, Jacobs, CPMS, and Costain. Other participating organizations include the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, Rail Alliance, Colas Rail, and DB Cargo UK, among many others.
The launch of the EDI Charter by the RIA and Women in Rail represents a significant step towards promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion within the UK railway industry. By encouraging collaboration and action, the Charter aims to create a positive and inclusive culture, unlocking new talent and driving the industry forward. The railway sector endeavors to reflect the diversity of society and provide an attractive career path for individuals from all backgrounds, fostering a thriving and inclusive workforce.