Big Rail Diversity Challenge; a seriously fun event with an important message

As a Key Challenge sponsor for the last two years, I’ve seen at first-hand how initiatives like the Big Rail Diversity Challenge can help promote and strengthen greater awareness of diversity within the workplace, but also foster deeper collaboration within teams.

As an organisation which operates in sectors hardest hit by imbalances, Morson are dedicated to improving diversity within the industries we work; in 2017 our CEO, Ged Mason OBE, pledged to double the number of female engineer contractors we have working for us by 2020, a figure which we’re well on the way to achieving. The Challenge aligns perfectly to our core values and gives us the opportunity to have fun and promote a message which goes beyond the main event. Throughout the year we do a lot to promote the initiative; for 2018 we created a Spotify soundtrack of motivational tracks for our employees and competitors, and we have more exciting things planned for later this year.

Importantly, the Big Rail Diversity Challenge gets everyone involved, across all levels of the business. Diversity which goes beyond gender should be a topic on everyone’s agenda, and the Challenge positively focuses on and promotes true inclusivity. The ‘Morson Equals Opportunities’ campaign, which centres on using accessibility technology to revolutionise how we engage with candidates online, echoes this initiative. It is just another way we’re working to guarantee there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back.

I have seen a shift in the recognition of diversity amongst organisations; for us, promoting role models and profiling powerful women in industry is a key factor in creating a more diverse workforce and inspiring future generations, which is where we will hopefully see a real change moving forwards.

Initiatives like this help to shine a spotlight on the work being done by Women in Rail to improve diversity across the UK rail industry. 2018 saw over 500 people participate, and with a record number of teams expected to be on the starting line for 2019 following a staggering 75% growth over the first three years, it promises to be yet another stand out event in the rail calendar.

You can follow all the action from the Big Rail Diversity Challenge via the website www.bigraildiversity.co.uk – or across the event’s social channels; Twitter @BRailDiversityC | Facebook @bigraildiversity | Instagram @bigraildiversitychallenge

About the author:

Gary Smithson is an Associate Director at Morson International. They are a Key Challenge sponsor for Women in Rail’s 2019 Big Rail Diversity Challenge. Women in Rail was created to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK rail industry. For more information visit http://womeninrail.org/