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TransPennine Express (TPE) is celebrating after winning the Social Inclusion Award at the prestigious Women in Rail Awards ceremony last night.

TPE captured the award after being recognised for its role in promoting rail as a great career for women.

TPE runs a number of programmes designed to introduce rail as a potential career to communities across the North and into Scotland. Schemes such as those for apprentices and graduates have led to 20 per cent of new recruits over the past 12 months being under the age of 25, with more young women joining the business than ever before.

Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, who attended last night’s ceremony, said:

“I’m delighted we have won the Social Inclusion Award at last night’s Women in Rail Awards.

“This is a great achievement that recognises the hard work of our colleagues over the past couple of years to make TPE an even more inclusive organisation.

“We have developed innovative and effective programmes to give women and colleagues from diverse backgrounds a stronger career path in rail, and I’m really proud to see this work recognised by our industry.

“As an inclusive employer, we value individuals’ contributions, regardless of their age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, social background, religion, or belief.

“We are proud of our region, and we are committed to connecting and reflecting the diverse communities we serve across the North of England and Scotland.”

To provide more opportunities for women to develop their careers, TPE launched its Step Up and Step Forward programmes to support female representation in management grade roles. The programme consists of coaching and peer-to-peer workshops focused on building presence and impact, working with stakeholders, career planning and strengthening networks. As a result of this commitment, in the past year, a quarter of all internal promotions were achieved by women, along with a third of TPE’s new recruits.

Building on this, last year TPE introduced a pilot Reach Up and Reach Forward programme specifically designed to support career development for colleagues from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

The Social Inclusion Award recognises work carried out to develop a strong and successful inclusion programme in UK rail, that reaches out to the local communities to ensure local people are given access to – and the opportunity to benefit from – a career in rail.

The Women in Rail Awards ceremony took place at the Roundhouse in Camden last night (Thursday 19th May) and was hosted by award-winning broadcaster, youth rights activist and author Gemma Cairney.