All-female team to staff regional rail control team to mark International Women's Day

An all-female team will staff Avanti West Coast’s Control department as part of activities to mark International Women’s Day.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 11:56 am

Staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Control will be run by a team of seven women today (8 March), who collectively have over 100 years of service between them.

Filling roles including Duty Control Manager, Information Controller, and Route Controller, the women will be responsible for the behind-the-scenes operation, which leads on the day-to-day running of Avanti West Coast services to keep the railway functioning as well as customers moving.

Designed to inspire the next generation and support the #BreakTheBias theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) – a global day celebrating the social economic, cultural, and political achievements of women – the staffing of Avanti West Coast’s central operations aims to showcase the various jobs held by women in rail and celebrate what they bring to their role.

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Pictured: Amy Ballamy, Liane McMahon, Nita Kapila, Rachel Hartill and Lisa Healy

Patrick Allinson, Operations Control Manager at the intercity operator, as well as his colleagues, Rachel Hartill (Duty Control Manager) and Amy Bellamy (Information Controller) worked on the idea as a perfect way to mark IWD.

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“We want to champion what women bring to the industry and staffing our Control with this experienced team for a whole shift today is a great way to show this”, said Patrick.

“The number of women working here in Control is a great thing to celebrate, and by showcasing their roles we hope to encourage others to choose a career in rail. I have an eight-year-old daughter who I want to be able to consider many careers – some of which have previously been dominated by men. By joining my colleagues to recognise women in these roles, and highlight it is becoming the norm, we hope we can break the bias today and for future generations.”

Pictured: Liane McMahon, Beth Tibbs, Nita Kapila, Rachel Hartill, Lisa Healy and Amy Ballamy

To support the industry’s activities to recognise IWD, Avanti West Coast Team Leader, Laura Warwick, gave an insight into her railway career and shared how she is helping to #BreakTheBias as part of a video series by Network Rail.

The intercity operator’s efforts to champion women in the business follows its campaign to promote its Train Driver roles to working mothers and inspire those who are looking to make a career change.