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Great Western Railway HR director scoops top award

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Great Western Railway’s Ruth Busby has been named HR Director of the Year at the Personnel Today Awards 2021.

Ruth was praised by judges for the way in which the rail operator’s Human Resources department helped lead colleagues through the Covid-19 pandemic.

She was chosen from a shortlist of seven and received her prize from Personnel Today Editorial Director Rob Moss and comedian Russell Kane during a glittering awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The judges’ summary said:

“Ruth joined GWR in 2018. Within a year, the pandemic hit and the rail operator faced a workforce fearful of the future of railways. Ruth ensured that HR truly partnered with the business.

“GWR increased communications and senior leader visibility, providing regular guidance to line managers, and engaging with trade unions to make sure colleagues felt listened to. Our judges were impressed with the agile and responsive use of communications, and the fact that GWR did not furlough any staff.”

Ruth said:

“It was incredibly humbling that my fabulous team took the time to nominate me for HR Director of the Year. It is even more incredible to have won the award. 

“None of this would have happened without such a fantastic team who are passionate, creative, innovative and, most of all, supportive. I’m incredibly proud to work with them and all my colleagues at GWR.”

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said the award was richly deserved:

“This is a fantastic achievement. Railway people winning national awards against competition from other sectors is great. During her three-plus years with the business Ruth has absorbed everything about the railway and then helped the railway do better while inspiring her team.”

Notes to editors

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR was recently awarded an extension to its direct award franchise (called DA3), which shall run up to 31 March 2023, with an option to extend for a further year. Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us

Photo credit: GWR

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