5 YEARS. 4 LIVE EVENTS. 1 VIRTUAL EVENT.
OVER 2050 PARTICIPANTS. 105 CHALLENGES.

THE BIG RAIL DIVERSITY CHALLENGE

WEDNESDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 2021

A FUN EVENT WITH A SERIOUS MESSAGE:

GENDER DIVERSITY:

BETTER FOR PEOPLE

BETTER FOR BUSINESS

BETTER FOR RAIL

On 15 September 2021, after 18 months of virtual meetings, a growth in online events and months of home working, 550 delegates from across the UK rail sector rallied at Newark Showground to attend the sixth Big Rail Diversity Challenge.

As industry charity Women in Rail’s annual flagship event, The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is the only rail industry event showcasing the diversity the UK railway industry is seeking to achieve, with teams being gender balanced and comprising people from diverse background including (and by no means limited to) race, ethnicity, religion, gender, socio economic background, and any form of disability.

Delegates took part in a plethora of physically and mentally demanding challenges – including Build a Scarecrow, Haka and It’s a Knockout! – aiming to show that gender balanced, and diverse teams work better together, are more innovative and creative, and to raise awareness of the business benefits of fostering a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly demonstrates that the rail industry is a dynamic, creative and exciting sector and, by encouraging participants to work together in gender balanced and diverse teams, it outlines rail’s commitment to improving diversity within its workforce and to fostering a more inclusive culture. The event is also a great fun and a fantastic way to team build and network with peers and colleagues, regardless of their grade and role!” comments Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder of Women in Rail.

Amongst the challenge suppliers, rail industry charity Railway Benefit Fund had participants supporting one another through the toughest of times, blindfolded and carrying ‘beans’ through an inflatable obstacle course as part of their Bring on the Beans challenge, whilst British Transport Police had teams ‘Look Beyond the Obvious’ whilst uncovering hidden rail stations amongst ice creams, sandcastles and other coastal attractions in a beautiful bespoke drawing, courtesy of one of their artistic colleagues.

After a tiring day of balloon modelling, Broadway routines, and countless inflatables, awards were presented, with special thanks to the event’s Headline Sponsor, CPMS – Egis and Key Challenge Sponsor, Morson Group.

VIEW OUR 2021 EVENT IMAGES HERE

BIG RAIL DIVERSITY CHALLENGE 2021

SCORES TABLE

  • 1
    From Rags to Riches
    From Rags to Riches
    Score: 258
  • 2
    The Certifiables
    The Certifiables
    Score: 253,5
  • 3
    Los Españoles’
    Los Españoles’
    Score: 252
  • 4
    Alstom All Stars
    Alstom All Stars
    Score: 250
  • 5
    HS2 many men 2 many men
    HS2 many men 2 many men
    Score: 249
  • 6
    D-railed
    D-railed
    Score: 248
  • 7
    #VextrixALLin
    #VextrixALLin
    Score: 240
  • 8
    Noughts & Crossings
    Noughts & Crossings
    Score: 239
  • 9
    VolkerRail - Off the Rails
    VolkerRail - Off the Rails
    Score: 236
  • 10
    GB MisFits
    GB MisFits
    Score: 235
  • View All Scores

VIEW OUR PREVIOUS EVENT VIDEOS HERE

2016

2017

2018

2019

WHAT THE TEAMS SAY…

  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge took me totally out of my comfort zone and into a zorb, onto a Segway, part of a human table football game among other things. And you know what? I had a great time, worked in a team with people from my company I don’t normally come across and found some hidden talents… thank you!

    Bridget Jackson, Head of Benefits Realisation
    High Speed 2
  • Thanks so much for the chance to take part in such an amazing day. The wide range of opportunities to stretch our collective brains and to take part in some great physical challenges made for an exceptional day – enjoyable and all in an incredibly worthy cause. Highly recommended.

    David Statham, Managing Director
    Southeastern Railway
  • TSP would like to thank you for organising the Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We think it is important to support this message and the events and everyone enjoyed participating. The “Strengthener’s of the Lost Arch” greatly enjoyed the day and learned a great deal about teamwork, driving a virtual Lamborghini and who to rely on if we ever need an emergency shelter! Thank you for your hard work.

    Lee Owen, Bridges Team Leader
    TSP Projects
  • The team from Fusion were thrilled to have had the opportunity to take part in such a fantastic concept. It’s refreshing to see events like the Big Rail Diversity Challenge taking place. Proving that you can raise the profile of serious agendas but in an innovative and team-spirited fashion. Our thanks go to Women in Rail for hosting this event on behalf of the industry and Nimble Media Ltd for the seamless organisation.

    Nissar Mohammed, Managing Director
    Fusion
  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge tested everything including; speed, creativity, memory, hand-eye coordination, fitness, concentration, logical reasoning, ingenuity, engineering talent and of course our team working skills as all activities required everyone to take part, occasionally with many of the team blindfolded! The event provides the opportunity to build on working relationships and learn and improve some of our ‘soft skills’. Many of which are translatable to the office environment, for example, communication, planning, adaptability, and reasoning

    Penny Gilg, Graduate Engineer
    TSP Projects
  • On behalf of the YRP team, I wanted to thank you, both of you and the rest of the organising team, for putting together such a brilliant initiative. The team and I had so much fun, engraving fantastic memories (and pictures!) and was an excellent team-building experience. This is without forgetting the purpose of the event – YRP committee members know the values of diverse teams – whether it is gender, age, nationalities, background and even professions!

    Sabrina Ihaddaden, former National Chair
    Young Rail Professionals
  • Aiming to bring together the entire rail industry under one roof is quite an undertaking. Cleverly though, the organiser’s Women in Rail and Nimble Media managed to do this by simply getting the biggest roof they could find… an aircraft hangar in fact! Highlights of the day included the pedal-powered house-kart challenge and the exhausting spider web climb, plus of course bumping into old colleagues from years gone by. In essence, if these hundreds of people represent the rail industry, then it’s in fine fettle.

    Will Baxter, Managing Director
    WillB Brand Consultants
  • What a fabulous event! Such a unique opportunity for teams to have so much fun away from formalised environments. Everyone is on a level in their sports kit and team shirts, no suits or uniforms. The Nimble team did an incredible job and no detail was missed. They created an incredibly fun atmosphere on a massive scale. The room was full of laughter and team spirit. We can’t wait to be there next year- if they will have us!!’

    Faye Jaques, Fundraising Manager
    Railway Benefit Fund
  • I just want to say thank you for last Friday. An absolutely brilliant day and we can’t wait to be part of it again next year!

    Joanna Hemmings, Communications Manager
    Network Certification Body
  • Railway Children was delighted to be involved with the Big Rail Diversity Challenge. A fantastically well-organised event that generated so much positive energy amongst all the teams. A great team-building and networking opportunity for all involved. Well done Nimble Media and Women in Rail!

    Katie Mason, Events Manager
    Railway Children
  • The team and I really enjoyed the Rail Diversity Challenge 2017. It was a great way to meet colleagues working across the country as well as to meet with customers and suppliers in an informal setting. The team spirit started strong as we split into two mini-groups to design our soapbox racer! The ladies took the front, the gents took the back, and we supped up our kart ready for the race track. Sadly we didn’t get across the line first, but we did keep that teamwork strong throughout the day. The human table football really brought us together, with a 5-aside match. Team members swapped at halftime, but the support and advice from each half of our spectating team were wonderful. Each goal scored was cheered as if we had been following our league team.

    Liz Lothian, Production Engineer
    Knorr-Bremse RailServices (UK) Limited
  • I loved the whole day! A diverse eclectic, committed and energetic bunk of individuals came together to deliver an outstanding result that we were all very pleased about.

    Nick Binks, Business Improvement and Risk Manager
    Angel Trains
  • To be honest, myself and the rest of the team had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we signed up to the Big Rail Diversity Challenge but we had an absolutely amazing time and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. The event itself was brilliantly managed and ran like absolute clockwork. I can genuinely say, on behalf of myself and the rest of the team, we never stopped laughing from the start to the finish and the event was THE BEST team-building experience(s) we’ve ever had. We were all set to sign up for next year’s event before we’d even jumped on the train home…which is a marl of what a great day we’d had!

    Paul Larder, Senior Retail Assurance Manager
    Virgin Trains East Coast
  • I would like to congratulate Nimble Media and the team on an amazing event, the activities were extremely enjoyable and really well put together. Looking forward to next years already.

    Roy Rowlands, Business Development Director
    Rail Technology Magazine
  • I just wanted to send a mail to tell you what an absolutely fantastic time the Virgin Trains Team had last Friday. The event was amazing, the staff were great and the organisation was second to none. We will definitely be back next year

    Sharon Noble, Lead Finance Business Partner
    Virgin Trains East Coast
  • A fantastic event that allowed all members of our very mixed ability and age team to shine, bond and have fun whilst supporting a very worthy cause.

    James Room, Divisional Manager
    Morson International
  • It was a tough but fun day. I really enjoyed being part of a diverse team and competing in a fun friendly environment. We were able to win some of the challenges due to great teamwork and diverse skillsets!

    Ashraf Nsubuga
    Young Rail Professionals
  • This was the first time I had the pleasure of attending this event. I have to say it was the most fun I have had in a very long time. We didn’t stop laughing all day. Would recommend this event to all and I am hoping I can get onto it again next year.

    Carla Roberts, Container Control
    Carla Roberts, Container Control
  • Exciting challenges and great fun, can’t wait for next year!

    Corrine Binks
    Morgan Sindall
  • I would like to say what a fantastic day we at East Midlands Trains had. We made new friends but most of all we bonded as a team. The event that you put on was fantastic so well planned and organised with the main theme of having fun so well done.

    Darren Field-Thomas, Business Continuity Manager
    East Midlands Trains
  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge was one of the best days of my career so far! The teamwork and communication required meant for a brilliant, constructive day with colleagues, as well as it is being extremely fun and a great networking event with all of the other companies in the room. It was absolutely incredible to see such diversity at the event and the value added as a result. A very well run-day and brilliant opportunity which I would encourage everyone to get involved with!

    Fran Palmer, Business Continuity & HSW Strategy Director
    SCS Railways
  • It was a tremendous experience and a very productive day with many challenges.

    Geetha Sathi, Electrical Engineer
    Arcadis UK Limited
  • Absolutely fabulous event and exceeded every expectation that I had. A great chance to meet new people and honestly couldn’t have had a better day! Bring on next year!

    Grace Hayward, Assistant Project Manager
    Colas Rail
  • Great day enjoyed by all promoting a very worthy cause.

    Graham Shaw, Business Development Manager
    VolkerRail
  • We had 9 people in the team and in a lot of the events, not every member got an opportunity to participate. All of the sporty ones were fine, it is the other ones like safecracker and catapult challenge.

    Irina Smith, Senior Commercial Manager
    Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd
  • A fun day out with work colleagues. A good mix of physical and problem-solving activities, with an overall positive message of promoting diversity in the rail industry.

    Joe Dodgson, Track Design Engineer
    Arup
  • Fantastic day out, promoting a brilliant cause. Fun, friendly environment which is a very worthwhile visit!

    John Gosney, Graduate Technical Engineer
    Colas Rail UK
  • I enjoyed the diversity of the tasks and working with people I don’t usually work with in the office.

    Kathryn Wales, Projects Engineer
    Colas Rail
  • This was our first time putting a team together for the Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We had colleagues from site and office and although a number of us talk to our site staff via phone or email this was the first chance, we got to meet face to face and bond which the day really helped us to do and work as a team and support one another. We all had a fantastic day and can’t wait to do it again! Although inflatable sports are a lot harder that they look!! Thanks for a great day – so well organised!!

    Kimberley McGinty, Skills and Employment Advisor
    VGC Group
  • Fantastic day last week, the event is getting bigger and better every year. Well done to you and the team.

    Maria Clark, Engineer
    Amey
  • Great event which was well organised with opportunities to network with a diverse range of people.

    Naomi Blissett, Apprentice
    High Speed 2
  • A fun-packed day with challenges to suit every member of our team. I struck up friendships with new colleagues I hadn’t even met yet, and probably wouldn’t have it not been for this.

    Natalie Adams, Client Account Manager
    SNC-Lavalin
  • It was a fantastic event, with lots of enthusiastic teamwork, as well as some healthy competition. The day was an ideal opportunity to connect with colleagues and it was great to see so many companies coming together to celebrate diversity across the railway.

    Natalie Sparrow, Colleague Engagement and Inclusion Manager
    Southeastern Railway
  • The Big Rail Diversity Challenge was an excellent opportunity to meet people from other sectors of the industry in a fun and competitive environment. I’d definitely do it again.

    Rishi Parwani, Research Analyst
    RSSB
  • Great inclusive event for all.

    Robert Lewis, Project Contracts Manager
    Bombardier
  • A well-organised event full of energy.

    Stephanie
    Jacobs UK Ltd
  • The best day at ‘work’ you’ll have!

    Stephanie Tyson, Project Manager
    Arup
  • Loved it!! Laughed all day!

    Sue Moore, PA to Directors
    Rail Safety Solutions
  • The day was fantastic, well organised and good fun I would recommend people take part in next year’s event. A really fun day.

    Tanja Chevalier, Community Engagement Executive Projects and Events
    High Speed 2
  • We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to you and everyone who organised the fantastic Big Rail Diversity Challenge. We all had a superb experience. The biggest compliment to you and your team I think, was even thought I was full of aches and pains on an early shift on the Platform on Friday, when a colleague asked how it went my response was “if I got a call today to do it all again tomorrow, I would be booking my tickets and I think most of my teammates would say the same. So, a HUGE thank you from everyone, I look forward to next year’s event, but think there will be a lot more people volunteering when they here of our experience.” – “As a 55-year-old male I approached the day with caution, but as it went on, I threw myself into every event with the enthusiasm of a teenager. LOVED IT.

    Tony Brindley, Customer Service
    MTR Crossrail
  • A really enjoyable day, full of amazing networking and a brilliant diverse mixture of talent from the Rail industry.

    Verity Olive, Project Engineer
    Balfour Beatty Rail
  • It was a fantastic, fun and challenging day. I learnt a lot about myself, what I can achieve with encouragement and sheer determination, even when feeling exhausted.

    Vicky Badham-May, Driver
    MTR Crossrail
  • The Big Rail Diversity is an amazing event & one I have to fight with colleagues to get a place because we all love taking part, I have met some amazing people on every occasion and the event coordinators are amazing people who go out of their way to make sure every issue is sorted with relative fuss. It’s an absolute honour to be a part of something that not only promotes Equality & Diversity but also promotes being fun at work, as sometimes working in such a serious discipline it’s easy to get bogged down by the pressures, this is a way for us to connect as a team & have that fun we sometimes crave.

    Vikky Goodwin
    Volkerrail
  • I have worked in the industry for 30+ years and it is definitely the best cross-industry event I have been a part of.

    Carol Jenkins, PA to Chief Operating Officer
    ScotRail
  • A fantastic, fun-filled day guaranteed to make positive memories with your colleagues that you will treasure forever.

    Geoff Lowdell, Skills Analyst
    The National Skills Academy for Rail
  • Thanks to all the team at Nimble Media for their fantastic efforts in pulling together the 2019 Rail Big Diversity Challenge. The day was a huge success and a big push towards the continued improvement of gender diversity in the rail industry.

    Helen Hasse, Office Administrator
    Risktec Solutions Limited
  • A fabulous way to promote and celebrate diversity in our industry; met some great people and challenges had some real team-building benefits.

    James Room, Rail Manager
    Morson International
  • Highlight of the year! A fantastic and well-organised event, celebrating everything great about the rail industry.

    Roisin Naughton
    Young Rail Professionals
  • BRDC is the ideal ”day out of the office” type of event, bringing everyone together to take part in a challenge in which everyone is a winner. We laugh, bond, exercise and increase our network.

    Roxana Lupascu, Assistant Project Manager
    Colas Rail UK
  • A big thank you to Vicky, Geena, Harry and all the rest of the team at Nimble Media. A big part of my culture, from New Zealand, is something we call ‘Manaakitanga’ which is looking after one another. From start to finish, I felt more like I was at home than at work because the Nimble Media team really looked after me. There wasn’t a moment where I wondered what I was doing because they had already organised it all brilliantly. I look forward to our event next year!

    Sol Cooper, Director
    TOA Haka Workshops UK Limited
  • A real pleasure to work with Women in Rail and Nimble Media at the Big Rail Diversity Challenge – a great opportunity to promote our “Look Beyond the Obvious” campaign across the variety of teams who visited our challenge! Brilliantly organised event that has re-emerged from lockdown even stronger and bigger. Well done to all involved and thank you for allowing us to present an award. Roll on next year!

    Alison Evans, Superintendent, Disruption, Drones & Trespass Improvement Programme
    British Transport Police
  • We had a brilliant day as always. We didn’t know if some of the activities would be stripped bac because of covid restrictions but they weren’t and like you say with the past 12-18 months it was so good to see people face to face. We had a lot of giggles, and we obviously one an award for the first time which we are thrilled with.

    I would love to continue to take part in this every year and will be in touch once I’ve spoken to our senior leadership team as I’m sure you are aware there are currently some changes going on in the rail industry with GBR.

    Joanna Hemmings, Marketing and Communications Manager
    Network Certification Body
  • I had a great time yesterday with everyone from “Team EDI.” It was wonderful to socialise the night before and make new friends. But what I really have had chance to reflect on is how Siemens really are #OneTeam. Everyone took part and after a long day of fun I’d love to say my thank yous for being able to be a part of it.

    Kayleigh Glover, eLearning Apprentice
    Siemens
  • I am completely with you, a fabulous day out, important for many, many reasons. It did my mental health wonders, the challenges are fabulous, and if Lynn will have me back next year, my name will be back on the list, 3rd year in a row. Although less than a week on, id still say never again! Found out i had muscles where i didnt know! And a team of people i can trust, relate to, and now approach throughout all areas of the business. Thank you for what you do! Please have Soul back with the Hakka too! That is amazing!

    Laura Holt, Train Driver
    Freightliner
  • This week I took part in the Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2021 in Newark with the Alstom Spares R Us dream team
    That was such fun and such a good occasion to promote diversity and team spirit at the same time. Also a big opportunity to catch up with colleagues I hadn’t seen since the pandemic started.
    Diversity is nowadays a key element for success in both business and private lives, inclusiveness is what we need to embrace!

    Lorenzo Giuntini , Head of Fleet Materials
    Alstom
  • I thought the level of professionalism that Nimble Media brought to the event was extraordinary, every single member of your team was a real pleasure to deal with, and there were staff everywhere at all times. The event ran smoothly from start to finish, and both the teams from CPMS-Egis absolutely loved the day, the weather was kind which also helped. Thank you so much for everything Nimble did to make the day truly memorable.

    Mat Baine, CEO
    CPMS Group
  • Great work by my colleagues from @ArupUK taking part in the Big Rail Diversity Challenge today, completing a series of fun, challenging team activities promoting the @WomeninRail message “Gender Diversity: Better for People, Better for Business, Better for Rail.”

    Sally Wells, Associate Director
    Arup
  • Vanessa Stanley MIET, Design Engineer
    Siemens
  • The 2 CPMS – @egis teams had a fabulous time at the @BRailDiversityC yesterday – we did not win but had loads of fun!
    BRDC is the only rail industry event attended by a truly diverse cohort in terms of gender and diversity: hopefully a sight of our future rail workforce.

    CPMS Group
  • This week, #Thales were thrilled to enter a team into the Big Rail Diversity Challenge! Run by @WomeninRail the Challenge is a fun-filled event, allowing organisations in #rail to demonstrate their commitment to #diversity within the industry.

    Thales
  • A huge thank you to Big Rail Diversity Challenge and Women in Rail for hosting what was a fantastic day at our first challenge event this week.

    From balloon making to hungry hippos, from quad biking to It’s a Knockout, the whole team pulled together to support this fantastic event.

    Unfortunately we didn’t win this year but word on the street is that Anthony Singleton is already booked on to a balloon making course in preparation for next year!

    Vextrix
  • Our Managing Director, Tim O Sullivan thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge, saying “What a great day celebrating all that is diverse and wonderful about this great industry. A pleasure to be part of team ‘Euston, we have a problem’. Huge credit to the superb team Skanska for a great day, thank you for having me!”.

    Danny Sullivan Group
  • Congratulations to the energetic ‘Morgan Sindall Infrastructure Mallard’s’ who won the Collaborative Team Award at the Big Rail Diversity Challenge.
    Not only was it an enjoyable and entertaining day but a great way to celebrate diversity in the rail industry and support the important message behind the event.
    #BigRail2021 #WomenInRail #ResponsibleBusiness

    Morgan Sindall Infrastructure
  • SYSTRA was delighted to take part in Women in Rail’s 6th Big Rail Diversity Challenge yesterday! Not only did our team love taking part in the activities and networking throughout the day, but we were also very proud to support the important message behind the event – “Gender Diversity: Better for People, Better for Business, Better for Rail”.

    SYSTRA
  • Team #Risktec had a brilliant time at #BigRailDiversityChallenge. Thank you to all the organisers for such a fantastic day.

    TUV Risktec

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