South Western Railway awarded leading accreditation for workplace inclusivity

South Western Railway (SWR) has been awarded a leading accreditation for fostering an inclusive workplace and culture.

The train operator, which employs over 5,000 people across London, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Devon, has earned a ‘silver’ in the Inclusive Employers Standard.

For the Inclusive Employers Standard, applicants must provide evidence in response to 35 questions that cover all protected characteristics and themes, based on six pillars of inclusion and diversity: Engage, Equip, Empower, Embed, Evaluate, and Evolve.

Established in 2011, Inclusive Employers is the first and leading membership organisation for employers who are committed to prioritising inclusion and creating truly inclusive workplaces.

SWR is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive organisation, ensuring that it harnesses the potential of all of its colleagues to deliver the best possible service for its diverse range of customers.

Over the past couple of years, SWR has taken a renewed strategic approach to inclusion and diversity which has helped secure this accreditation.

This has included the implementation of its first inclusion and diversity strategy and action plan, the creation of a number of active network groups for supporting and empowering colleagues from under-represented and disadvantaged groups, and the adoption of formal inclusion and diversity training and mentoring programmes.

Last month, SWR was also highly commended for Diversity & Inclusion in Rail at the Rail Business Awards.

Leanne Illman, Head of Inclusion and Diversity for South Western Railway, commented “We are thrilled to be awarded silver in the Inclusive Employers Standard. Since our first inclusion and diversity strategy launched in 2021, we have worked hard to introduce and embed initiatives such as staff networks, training and awareness, reverse mentoring, and inclusive recruitment practices.

“To have our commitment to inclusion and diversity recognised in this way is credit to our colleagues who have embraced and supported the work we are doing. There is still work we can and want to do, and we look forward to continuing onwards towards our vision of creating an even more inclusive workplace and culture.”

More information can be found about the Inclusive Employers Standard here.