A record 620 delegates from across the UK rail sector attended the fourth Big Rail Diversity Challenge at Newark Showground on Thursday, 27 June 2019. 


The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is charity Women in Rail’s annual flagship event designed to highlight the benefits of gender balance and diversity in the industry.

Delegates took part in a plethora of physically and mentally demanding challenges – including Build a Scarecrow, Haka and It’s a Knockout! – aiming to show that gender diverse teams work better together; and to raise the awareness of the business benefits when companies improve their male:female worker ratio. 

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly seeks to disprove one of the most destructive myths in professional life: that women and men cannot work effectively together. By engaging both men and women in equal measure, we have started to tackle gender imbalance head-on and create a more attractive, productive and successful industry in the process,” comments Adeline Ginn, Founder of Women in Rail. 

Members of the British Transport Police, RAF, British Army Royal Engineers, alongside rail industry charities Railway Benefit Fund and Railway Children, provided many of the challenges.

After a tiring day of competition, awards were presented, with special thanks to event sponsors – Morson International and Colas Rail. 

The ‘Best Team Name Award’ went Abellio Scotrail for ‘Some like it Scot’, presented by Christine Fernandes, Business Development, CAF Rail and Women in Rail London Group.

‘The Railway Children Charity Challenge Award’, judged and presented by the charity’s Events Manager Katie Mason was won by ‘Dexter’s Rogue Squad’ from Direct Rail Services. Teams were challenged to create a promotional music video for the charity using a variety of objects or ‘junk’ which many street children collect to make money for food, shelter or protection.

The Railway Benefit Fund’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ challenge was awarded to the team which showed the ability to laugh at the toughest times, whilst still achieving their goal. Arriva Rail London was judged to be the winner by Emma Keene, Railway Benefit Fund Fundraising and Marketing Officer. 

‘The Collaborative Teamwork Award’ winner was ‘Southeastern TRACK-tion’ from Southeastern Railway for displaying outstanding teamwork and motivational support and was presented by Roxana Lupascu, Assistant Project Manager, on behalf of Challenge Sponsors, Colas Rail.

And finally, the most coveted trophy of the day ‘The Team of the Year Award’ for achieving the highest overall score with an impressive 274.5 out of a possible 300, went to ‘Chew Chew Bakka Bakka’ from SCS Railways. The 2019 winner’s trophy was presented by Jeff Marshall, Executive Manager from Key Challenge Sponsors, Morson International. 

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