Leading figures from the Scottish rail industry attended a special Women in Rail event this week at Holyrood, sponsored by Graham Simpson MSP.
Rail industry professionals gathered to hear a special panel discussion featuring Transport Minister, Fiona Hyslop, Network Rail Capital Delivery Director, Kris Kinnear, Story Plant Managing Director, Emma Porter and NSAR Chief Executive, Neil Robertson.
During this session, the panel discussed a variety of issues facing the industry under the headline: ‘Diversity is the Key to Future Success of Rail.’ From this stemmed a lively debate around the challenges which exist in building a diverse workforce and how the industry can focus on retaining good talent and be perceived as an attractive career option for all.
Graham Simpson, MSP, commented:
“It has been a pleasure to welcome the members of Women in Rail Scotland, and their esteemed speakers, to this special parliamentary event. Rail is a prominent part of the transport infrastructure, not just in Scotland, but across the UK, so it is important that we tackle the issues around diversity and inclusion head on.
“I am committed to supporting the diversity that Women in Rail champion throughout the industry and believe that in order to create a fully inclusive workforce, we need to have these discussions at this level to encourage real change.”
Emma Porter, Managing Director of Story Plant Ltd said:
“Inclusivity and diversity are essential to unlocking potential in the rail industry. Diversity brings fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, ultimately leading to better decision making and improved performance.
“I believe that we achieve more by working together and taking the time to understand other people’s perspectives – and this event gave us the opportunity to do just that. It facilitated a great, two-way conversation between the panel and the audience with people who can drive the changes we need to see in the industry to develop an exceptional workforce.”
Lorna Gibson, Chair of Women in Rail Scotland added:
“There are so many positive opportunities that are available within rail, and it is up to us an industry to ensure that as well as appointing the right people for the job, we are ensuring that we do it in an inclusive and diverse way.
“A huge thank you to our panellists for what was an entertaining and informative evening – and of course, to Graham Simpson for hosting us at the parliament. It was inspiring to hear our panellists recount their experiences and hear of their visions for the future and we look forward to helping to make these positive changes.”