PRESS RELEASE: The Big Rail Diversity Challenge: Driving Gender Balance and Inclusion

The founding purpose behind The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is as relevant today as it was when Women in Rail launched the event eight years ago.

The UK rail sector is dynamic and forward-thinking, yet only 16% of the total UK rail workforce is female and just 1% of these are in C-suite roles.

“The rail sector continues to miss out on a wealth of talent and business benefits gained when organisations improve inclusion and gender balance across their workforce,” explains Shona Clive, Vice-Chair Women in Rail (WR).

“WR was established to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK rail industry and we continue to work to address female underrepresentation across all levels of the career spectrum.

“Creating a robust networking platform and support for women through training and our acclaimed mentoring programme, WR devises initiatives positioning rail as an attractive career choice for women and engages with key stakeholders to promote diversity as a business strategy.

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge (BRDC) is our flagship event and one of many high-profile activities we have instigated, from the hugely successful Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Charter launched jointly with the Railway Industry Association, to our SWiFT peer-to-peer network of senior men and women in UK rail to develop high potential women and foster the next generation of female leaders and the Women In Rail Awards celebrating female contribution to the sector and the benefits of gender balance.

“The BRDC tests diverse, gender-balanced teams’ problem-solving, collaborative approach and communication through fun mental, physical and skill-based challenges. Anyone who attends the event can clearly see that gender-balanced and diverse teams are more innovative and more likely to share knowledge to fulfil tasks successfully.

“The BRDC remains as relevant as it has always been and continues to resonate within the industry. The number of participants already signed up to take part this year is more than double that of our inaugural event, showing that a growing number of rail organisations are keen to demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

“We are also grateful to the numerous BRDC supporting organisations; British Transport Police, Rail Delivery Group, Rail Forum, Rail Supply Group, NSAR, Young Rail Professionals and charities Rail Benefit Fund and Railway Children.”

The BRDC, organised by multi-media specialists Nimble Media Ltd in collaboration with Women in Rail, is being held at Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire, on 21 June and teams can look forward to 28 physical, mental and skill-based activities, including five new ones for 2023.

There’s still time for organisations to take part, call to speak to a member of the team on 01780 432930 or email

You can also follow the latest news and updates via social media channels:
Facebook – /bigraildiversity
Twitter – @braildiversityc
LinkedIn – The Big Rail Diversity Challenge
Instagram – @bigraildiversitychallenge

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