Women in Community Rail (WiCR) was established to help support colleagues in the community rail family work towards a more inclusive, tolerant, and diverse membership, giving a true reflection of its customers and the wider make-up of society. The aim for women in community rail is to have a voice from grass-roots up to board level, while bringing everyone collectively on a journey to ‘Achieve Change Together’.
A steering group made up of twelve like-minded individuals came together from community rail partnerships, station adoption groups, local authorities, and train operating companies, with a shared ambition to bring about positive change. WiCR was subsequently established primarily to address diversity and inclusivity imbalances within community rail.
Funding was secured via a Seedcorn application with the group continually working towards several objectives;
becoming recognised as a strategic player across the rail industry and a recognised consultee
sharing knowledge and expertise on how to encourage gender balance
creating a mentoring and support network for all colleagues throughout the industry
increasing inclusivity within community rail
encouraging younger people to consider a career in community rail
sharing best practice across the wider industry and business sector
In the space of two years, the group has grown to over sixty members, including both men and women, with a 28% male to 72% female split. WiCR states that it fulfils a vital function in providing support, encouragement, and assistance in the advancement of women in what has typically been perceived as a male-dominated industry. WiCR participates in many events and seminars across the country, helping to build support networks for women already working in community rail and the rail industry, as well as helping women find and forge a new career.