An equality, diversity & inclusion hero

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Like many others, the rail industry is still getting to grips with including and representing society’s wide array of cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexualities. This work is being carried out by some very special individuals, and the RailStaff Awards recognises their efforts.

Freightliner, sponsor of the RailStaff Award’s HR, Diversity and Inclusion Award, places great emphasis on improving diversity, equality, and inclusion across its business areas.

In recent years, new executives have helped to change the mindset of the business and an understanding that improving diversity improves decision making and allows for a more balanced approach to doing business. In less than two years, Freightliner has increased its female executive members from one to three, including its CEO (interim appointment).

Freightliner has also developed a Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural awareness programme for all managers and leaders, which will be cascaded to all employees during 2023/2024. It is hoped this will help transform behaviours and influence cultural change allowing for a more inclusive environment.

Paul McGunnigle-White, treasury manager and diversity and inclusion lead at Trenitalia c2c, was honoured with the HR, Diversity and Inclusion Award on the night of 30 November.

Paul exemplifies all the right behaviours for someone trying to drive inclusivity within the railway. One of his key strengths is his humility in acknowledging where he doesn’t have knowledge on a subject, and he’s not beyond asking questions to learn more about it. Paul has formed very strong relationships with colleagues across c2c, and this has helped him deliver real change and raise challenging conversations that will ultimately take the organisation forward.

“I’m really overwhelmed,” said Paul on receiving the award. “It’s so nice to feel recognised for something that you’re passionate about. I really want to thank everyone at the EDI Charter. They’ve helped me so much and given me the opportunity to collaborate with so many different people. I particularly want to thank the whole HR team at c2c and Abu Siddeeq, customer experience director, for inspiring me to just run with the role.”

Freightliner CEO Tim Shoveller presented the award.

“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, the rail industry still has a lot to do, and I’m really proud that Freightliner recognises that,” he said. “We’ve got more to do ourselves, but recognising Paul’s contribution tonight is really important for all of us.”

Highly commended
Lorraine Mhonyera, Network Rail
Hull Trains HR Team, Hull Trains

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