Two winners at Women in Rail Awards

On 30 September, Avanti West Coast won two awards at the Women in Rail Awards. The Awards seek to showcase individuals who have significantly contributed to improving gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the rail industry.


Glasgow Onboard Manager Karen Paton won the Women in Rail Award, one of the flagship awards of the evening. She was nominated by colleagues for her charitable work supporting communities, hospitals, and care homes during the pandemic. Karen came up with the idea of making boxes of supplies that were distributed to local hospitals and care homes. Struck by the positive feedback, the idea was extended to the Anglo Scottish rail route, with parcels sent by trains to other stations down the line, liaising with her colleagues for distribution to local communities.


Karen also created a video for her 3,500 plus Avanti West Coast colleagues to encourage simple acts of kindness to help raise a smile, highlight our willingness to help each other, keep positive and stay motivated.


Karen said: "I’m a bit overwhelmed if I’m honest. Whilst my name is on the award, its more about teamwork, and how we have all stuck together to deal with the challenges of the last 18 months.”


Avanti West Coast’s Talent Team also won the Best Apprenticeships Scheme for its pioneering Lead the Way and Emerging Leaders programmes. Developed by the Talent Management Team, the programme was created to help re-energise our people following a tough year and to provide self-development opportunities to support career progression.


These programmes showed that instead of learning being put on hold during the pandemic, it could inspire hundreds of our people to achieve valuable leadership qualifications. Both programmes have been extremely popular, with 100% of delegates saying it will make a positive difference to company culture.


Caroline Donaldson, Managing Director for West Coast Partnership Development, was also shortlisted for the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award.


You can find the full press release here.