Network Rail and Stagecoach lead the way on International Women’s Day with female route leaders: Margaret Kay and Becky Lumlock (2)

Wednesday 8 Mar 2017

Network Rail and Stagecoach lead the way on International Women’s Day with female route leaders

  • Only route in the UK headed up by two female managing directors
  • Becky Lumlock of Network Rail and Margaret Kay of South West Trains lead track and train on one of country’s busiest networks

Stagecoach and Network Rail are joining forces to mark International Women’s Day today (8 March) by celebrating their female leaders and supporting the campaign’s theme for a more gender inclusive world.

Becky Lumlock, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s Wessex route and Margaret Kay, the newly appointed Managing Director of South West Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, are now working in partnership to deliver rail services between London and the South West – one of the busiest sections of the country’s rail network with around 230 million passenger journeys each year.

It is the only section of Britain’s rail network to have two female leads working together to deliver track and train. The route also includes two female Finance Directors; Sam McCarthy of Network Rail’s Wessex route and Natacha Robert of South West Trains.

Margaret Kay, Managing Director of South West Trains said: “It’s great that the Wessex team is leading the way in demonstrating how the rail industry is changing for the better. It sends a really strong signal out that there are opportunities in this industry for everybody.

“I’m very pleased to be working alongside Becky in driving forward our plans across the South West network and making a real difference for our customers. However, it’s clear that we need to continue our work in encouraging more women to join the rail industry across all levels, and we’re pleased to be supporting this year’s International Women’s Day by demonstrating the steps we have already taken in our businesses.”

Becky Lumlock added: “The railway industry still has a long way to go to address its current gender imbalance, but we are making progress and it’s important that we celebrate these milestones in order to encourage other women to pursue careers in the railway.

“The number of passengers using the railway is growing at a fantastic rate and in order to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan and meet their demands, we need to continue to attract the best and brightest talent. That means harnessing the creative, analytical and problem-solving potential of all the young women out there who may not previously have considered working in the industry.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Margaret to bring track and train closer together, and to continue our progress in boosting the number of women employed on the railway.”

Network Rail has recently launched a ’20 by 20’ target to increase its take-up of female employees across the business to 20 per cent by 2020 and South West Trains is fully supportive of this aspiration.

Margaret Kay joined as Managing Director of South West Trains on 6 March, moving from Stagecoach Supertram, Sheffield’s tram network, where she has been Managing Director for the past five years. Margaret was last year named in the industry’s top 20 most inspirational women in the Women in Rail Awards.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.



Pictured L-R Margaret Kay, Managing Director of South West Trains and Becky Lumlock, Managing Director of Network Rail Wessex at London Waterloo station

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Currently, 16% of Network Rail’s 37,000 strong workforce is female. We aim to increase this to 20 percent by 2020.

Contact information

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07710 959476

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Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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