Railway worker recognised in New Year’s Honours list for improving inclusivity: shane on roof - Copy

Thursday 31 Dec 2020

Railway worker recognised in New Year’s Honours list for improving inclusivity

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Wales & Borders

A Network Rail Wales employee has been awarded an MBE for his work to boost inclusivity within the rail industry, particularly with the LGBT+ community

Project operations interface specialist, Shane Andrews MBE, has worked tirelessly over the years, to increase LGBT+ awareness among his Network Rail colleagues and empowering them to celebrate diversity in the workplace.

In 2018, Shane, quickly began to make a substantial difference to the workplace when he joined the ‘Archway’ leadership team - Network Rail’s LGBT+ employee network. Shane’s determination has helped to increase membership from 22 to 898 and, in 2020, it was no surprise when he was elected chair of the group.

His commitment led Network Rail being ranked fourth in the Vercida group list of LGBT+ inclusive employers.

Shane said: “I am delighted to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. It’s fair to say that many people in the LGBT+ community haven’t always viewed the railway as an attractive place to work, and so I am pleased to have played my part in improving diversity and inclusivity in this industry.”

For the past five years, Shane has encouraged many of his railway colleagues to attend Pride events to show support for the LGBT+ community and promote the railway as an inclusive place to work.

“I’ve always strived to get as many of my colleagues to attend Pride events and in the last couple of years, I’ve extended this invite to train operating companies and the British Transport Police to join us as one sector, demonstrating that as ‘Rail in Wales’, we’re truly inclusive and a great place to work”, the 33-year-old added.

“As Chair of Archway I’m proud we have achieved so much in the last year, despite the challenges of Covid-19 and we will continue to ensure Network Rail is a great place to work for all and a place where everyone matters.”

Shane, from Cardiff, got engaged to his partner, Jack, two weeks before lockdown in a specially decorated LGBT+ pod, during the London Eye 20th anniversary celebrations.

And when the couple’s Summer festival plans were stopped by Covid-19, Shane decided to host a two-week, virtual Pride festival, which saw more than 500 people attending.

Shane’s recognition by the Queen follows a remarkable list of achievements, with a strong focus on helping others.

Shane is also a well-known face within his local community, having volunteered in various roles for more than a decade. These include; a Scout Leader, an independent police custody inspector and a school governor. He is also a trustee of the Cardiff East district of the Scout Association and is an active member of the district executive committee. 

“I’ve volunteered since a young adult. I’ve always used my time and effort to support worthy causes within the local community concentrating my efforts on areas I have an active interest in and where I felt a positive change could be implemented.

“I have always been driven by a desire to make the world a better place.”

Upon hearing of Shane’s incredible achievement, Bill Kelly, Wales and Borders route director said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Shane for being recognised with such as prestigious award.

“As an organisation we are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for our people and Shane’s work has been instrumental in helping us become more reflective of the communities we serve”. 

Notes to Editors

Shane is one of three Network Rail employees to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List 2021 which was published on 30 December.

He is joined by group safety and engineering director, Martin Frobisher OBE, who has been recognised for his work supporting the railway response to the coronavirus, the construction of the Nightingale hospitals and supporting the army reserves.

Also awarded an OBE is director of diversity and inclusion, Loraine Martins, for her work to improve diversity throughout Network Rail and her voluntary work with the National Mentoring Scheme

Network Rail would also like to congratulate Andy Savage MBE, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, who has been honoured for his work supporting railway heritage and for more than 40 years of volunteering with the Ffestiniog Railway.

Shane is available for media interviews: 07711601184, shane.andrews@networkrail.co.uk

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