Diversity and inclusion

Making West Midlands Railway a railway for everyone.

We are committed to creating a workplace that is focused on equality, diversity, and inclusion, where everyone's differences are embraced and treated with fairness and respect.

Each individual plays a part in embedding equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across our organisation in order to help our customers, colleagues and communities treat each other with dignity and respect. This is why our EDI vision is simple - make West Midlands Railway a place for everyone.

We aim to do this by:

  • Broadening talent with a diverse range of people and skills, minimising ‘blind spots’ and driving better decision making through inclusion and innovation.
  • Better understanding, anticipating and meeting the needs of our customers.
  • Focusing on our key values and goals, outlined in our EDI strategy.

We believe that ‘You Matter’, so teams are made aware of the importance of embedding EDI amongst our customers, colleagues and communities.

Our EDI action plan focuses on:

  • Inclusive recruitment
  • Wellbeing
  • Procurement
  • Performance management
  • Reward and retention
  • Effective communication
  • Strategy
  • Training and accessibility
  • Effective and operational line management

By working closely with the National Centre of Diversity, we help embed into our organisation the FREDIE principles (Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement) as well as our Company values of being Proud, Real, Open and Simple.

Our Steering Groups and Network Groups aim to be inclusive of everyone and offer opportunities for our team members to meet new people, express concerns, or raise ideas. Our current network groups include:

Steering groups:

Sponsored by a number of our Executive Directors, our EDI steering group includes team members from across every directorate of the organisation. The groups prime focus is to ensure the principles of Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement are embedded into all perspective areas for our customers, colleagues and communities.

Consisting of our colleagues, passenger representatives from a range of backgrounds, colleagues from other Train Operating Companies, and local organisations, this group enables us to learn directly from passengers of different protected characteristics in order to improve our services.

Internal network groups:

A diverse network group with a key focus on the LGBTQ+ Community. Aspect aims to provide a support network for internal members of staff and a social network for anyone who wants to be part of the group.

EMBRACE stands for - Everyone Meaningfully Broadening Racial Awareness and Cultural Exchange. It is a supportive network group that is open for all colleagues to join together to represent, empower and advocate colleagues from varied cultural origins. The Chair of EMBRACE, Tawhida Yaacoub, is keen to bring together colleagues from different backgrounds to represent, support and celebrate diverse cultures.

Engender is a diverse group of individuals coming together to highlight, educate, inform, celebrate and learn about anything and everything that affects us in our lives and the workplace around gender-related topics, problems and achievements – whether male, female, non-binary, transgender and every other type of gender.

We work closely with partners from a variety of areas to support and encourage EDI at West Midlands Railway and outside the organisation. Our EDI partners include:

  • Our Unions – We will work in partnership with our unions to help deliver our strategy but also, where feasible to help them execute their own Diversity & Inclusion strategies.
  • National Centre for Diversity we have chosen to work with National Centre for Diversity to be Investors in Diversity.
  • Abellio Train Operating Companies (TOCs) – we work with our Sister TOCs on a Diversity and Inclusion forum and work jointly on inclusion initiatives across Abellio.
  • Rail Delivery Group we partner with other rail industry colleagues and the Rail Delivery Group to ensure that diversity and inclusion are valued and embedded across the rail industry
  • Network Railwe partner with Network Rail to expand their diversity Network Group offerings to WMT staff and work with them on joint Diversity and Inclusion ventures.
  • Women in Railwe partner with Women in Rail and inform our colleagues about the opportunities available for Women in Rail.
  • Work180 we work with Work180 on initiatives such as International Women’s Day.
  • My G Work we partner with My G Work to help promote our roles to the LGBTQ+ community, publicising our work through their site.
  • Women in Transport - we support Women in Transport's mission to advance the professional development of women working in transport across the UK and create greater exposure to gender diversity in the rail industry.