International Women’s Day

Thursday, 10 November 2022

International Women’s Day is a chance for everyone to celebrate women’s achievements in every shape and form. From fostering inclusive workplaces, building empowerment and creating greater visibility - these are just some of the key missions IWD is here to achieve. And we’re excited to strive towards the same goals at EMR.

This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, so we reached out to some of our brilliant EMR colleagues who are paving the way for women in rail, and asked them about their experiences as a woman within the rail industry. So without much further ado, let’s meet some of the Women behind EMR.


On Train Depot Manager

Danielle On Train Depot Manager

At Derby, I lead a team of 4 On Train Service Delivery Managers, we lead a team of 160 frontline Traincrew Train Managers, Senior Conductors, Chefs, Crew Leaders and Customer Hosts.

My role is really about supporting our frontline teams to enable them to deliver the best possible service to our customers.

Who's your female role model/ woman at work who inspires you?

Throughout the pandemic I have been really inspired by all of the working mothers / fathers who have not only worked throughout but have stepped up the additional challenges of homeschooling too. Many of these have been in my team and I am just in complete awe of all of them.

What is your favourite thing about working at EMR?

​I have worked for EMR since I was 18, I have done a variety of frontline roles before starting my management career. Throughout my career EMR have developed, supported and challenged me to be the very best that I can be. I love working for EMR because they empower me to be the very best version of myself.


Transition and Projects Director

Lisa Transition and Projects Director

My role (and the role of my team) is about transforming the way that we do things here at EMR by delivering key Business Change Programmes for our customers, stakeholders, and our staff and to make sure that our customers get the best possible experience, and our staff feel proud to deliver that experience.

One of the most important and enjoyable elements of my role is the management of key stakeholder relationships, whether they are external to our business i.e. with DfT, Network Rail, Funders or our Supply Chain, or internal stakeholders such as the Delivery and Support Functions.

How do you think EMR Choose to Challenge Women's equality?

Our workforce should be representative of the modern world that we live in, and at EMR we continue to work hard to bring balance across the business. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for all is embedded in our values, and I see first hand how we are committed to equality through our recruitment policy. It’s great to see so many women in our service delivery teams in roles that were once considered to be unsuitable for female employees. The same can be said about our Management and Exec population. We’ve come a long way, particularly in recent years, but there is always more to do and I see that EMR has a real desire to continue to make positive changes.

Why is it important for you to champion women’s equality?

Championing women’s equality is important for me because I have worked in Rail for 30 years and have seen the landscape of the industry change for women over the years. Things continue to change for the better, but there is still some way to go. Gender should not be considered as a barrier to success, indeed like many of my colleagues in the industry I have worked hard to challenge barriers when they have been there. It’s fair to say however that I have been knocking at an open door most of the time, and for that reason it is so important that opportunities are not missed by colleagues who feel that gender will stand in the way.


Regional Fleet Engineer

In my role I am responsible for the rolling stock operated on our Regional network it's a very varied role where no two days are the same. ​

Why should more women and girls consider a career in rail?

​Rail is a satisfying industry to work in, one where you know every day in a small way you have helped improve someone else's day. There are so many opportunities and areas to work in, there is truly something for everyone.

What are your top tips for women navigating the rail industry?

​Do not be fearful of being heard, take every opportunity offered, be proud of what you achieve and speak up when you believe something could be done better. Enjoy the challenges.


Head of New Trains

Rachel Head of New Trains

I am accountable for working with my EMR colleagues to ensure that we are ready for operation of the brand new Class 810 Aurora fleet of trains coming soon. It’s a really wide-ranging role, covering all sorts of aspects and checking that the trains are compatible with Network Rail infrastructure, media engagement and, probably most importantly, ensuring our people are trained and ready for the new trains entering service.

Why should more women and girls consider a career in rail?

Rail provides a very challenging career with the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives every day. Contributing to environmental and economic improvements by developing excellent public transport is really satisfying and we need a wider representation of the user community within our industry to make it even better.

Who's your female role model/ woman at work who inspires you?

I am pleased to say there are now many to choose from and it’s too hard to choose just one. Adeline Ginn of Women in Rail stands out for her determination to make the industry a more diverse, inclusive and supported place. Linda Wain, LNER’s Head of Engineering and Assurance, is inspirational in being so dogged in her pursuit of excellence in Fleet Engineering and also never being anything but her down-to-earth self; I also admire Helen Simpson at Porterbrook for being so brilliantly creative and bringing to life her awesome ideas all while working part-time and raising her family, and being so calm, considerate and modest with it.


Fleet Programme Manager

Rhiannon Fleet Programme Manager

In the Fleet Programmes team, we deliver projects that provide business change to the Fleet department of EMR.

As Fleet Programme Manager, I am responsible for the successful delivery of our projects; providing governance across the programme and ensuring robust project management through our experienced team of Project Managers.

This year’s theme for IWD is #ChooseTo Challenge. How do you think EMR #ChooseToChallenge women’s equality?

I believe that EMR challenges women’s equality at the very start of the journey; during recruitment, where advertisements can often be intimidating to women due to considering factors such as family commitments.

As part of the job advertising stage, our HR Business Partner offered and implemented excellent ideas to ensure that our job advert was as inclusive as possible; encouraging an equal application opportunity.

What is your favourite thing about working at EMR?

I joined EMR in December 2020 and since then I’ve worked predominantly from home. I’ve been really impressed with the inclusive culture at EMR and despite never experiencing the combined office culture, I’ve felt welcomed into the ‘EMR family’.

Since joining, my favourite aspect would be the willingness to improve the way we can work, and not faltering at the prospect of potential business change.

How EMR continue to #ChooseToChallenge

We’re proud to work with incredible female colleagues and advocates for change and equality. While we’re proud to have created an inclusive working environment, we also understand that change and progress is necessary. That’s why we partner with Women in Rail to implement industry-wide mentor programmes for colleagues and to help to improve our gender balance across the workplace.

To find out more about how you can get involved with International Women’s Day , head over to their website for more information.

And if you think a future career in rail could be the pathway for you, we’re always on the look out for talented people to join us. Find out more about what it means to work for EMR by checking out our Careers page .