The North East gave a warm welcome to Women in Transport earlier this month at the exclusive Northern Counties Club. The event, marking the celebration and launch of our first regional hub outside London, was led by Nexus, the organisation that provides, plans and promotes public transport in the North East of England.
Our first major event outside London attracted a huge amount of interest and support. Representatives from Arriva, Stagecoach, Hitachi, Turner & Townsend, Newcastle University, Gateshead Council, Newcastle Airport and WSP Engineering were among the attendees. It was evident during the audience discussion, and networking that followed, that there is great local enthusiasm for this exciting initiative.
As well as our President, Katie Hulland, guest speakers, who talked about their career successes and challenges, included:
Chi Onwurah, MP (Newcastle)
Councillor Arlene Ainsley, (Newcastle)
Rachel Heath, Programme Manager, Network Rail
Yanyan Bryan, Chartered Engineer, Atkins
Opening the event, Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes said: “It's an honour to open the first Women in Transport event in the region and tremendous to see so many people attend. I am a great supporter of this initiative. I firmly believe we are heading in the right direction to inspire more women to consider a career or, at the very least, encourage mentors to support those who are already with us to develop their career within the industry.”
Katie said: “We are very excited about working with Nexus in running events and initiatives in the North East to encourage, support and advance careers of women in the transport sector here. We have been overwhelmed with the strength and support and interest we have received from organisations and individuals in the region and look forward to working together to share best practice and to showcase transport as an attractive and rewarding career for women.”
Gemma Hewitt, Human Resources Manager at Nexus said: “Women are still very much under-represented in an industry which has been male dominated for many years. We are hoping to change that trend and encourage more women to consider a career in transport. Setting up a local branch of Women in Transport is a step in the right direction.”