An unexpected bonus on our recent visit to London Underground's Emergency Response Unit (ERU) was the opportunity to meet two senior women in transport who shared their career experiences and advice with our members; Kerri Rogan, Head of London Underground Network Command, and Chief Inspector Lisa Garrett of the British Transport Police.
Kerri is responsible for the command, control and response of the London Underground network. She leads the real time command across 11 tube lines and 270 stations through teams of asset and operational leads. She leads a senior management team with functional command of all eight control centres associated with the running of the railway including the ERU.
Kerri gave an honest and frank account of the challenges of being a young woman moving into senior leadership and provided some insight and advice for overcoming Impostor Syndrome.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
Her advice included:
You don’t need to have your career completely mapped out but understand what you’re good at and what you want to do.
Recognise what your job is. You don’t need to know all the answers, build a team around you and ask for help when you need it.
Establish a network that will educate, challenge and support you.
Help each other out.
Lisa Garrett shared her journey from being a business graduate with languages to becoming a Chief Inspector in the British Transport Police (BTP).
“You can do things that you think are impossible”
Describing being a police officer as a lifestyle rather than a job, Lisa’s passion for her chosen career was clear. Since joining the BTP in 1995, she has held various roles including the challenge of being the officer in charge at Finsbury Park Station.
It was particularly interesting to hear about Lisa’s experience as a working mum of six. She spoke about the loss of confidence and change of mindset each return to work required on her part. Something that resonated with other mothers in the room was the need to challenge the perception of being a working mum, balanced against a desire to be given the same opportunities and have the same responsibility and accountability as others, while juggling caring responsibilities.
She concluded with, “I wouldn’t change it for the world. It makes me a little bit different but I’m able to look at things differently.”
Lisa now works part-time and commutes to London from Bath. Her command includes the Central London and West Ham police station, the Staff Assault Team, the Neighbourhood Policing Team and the ERU - a job she does under compressed hours (24). Lisa described herself as highly organised, focused and someone who always thinks there’s a way around things.
Our members found Kerri and Lisa's talks really interesting and appreciated them taking time out of their busy schedules to share their honest insights as women working in transport.
Their feedback showed it was a morning well spent:
“The talks from Kerri and Lisa were very helpful and inspiring and it was great to hear about their respective career paths as they were so different.”
“I really liked hearing from such inspirational women talking about their careers and how I could to relate to the challenges and traits they have.”
“Great to hear advice from incredible #womenintransport”
“Really informative morning with talks by inspiring TfL and British Transport Police staff, organised by @transportwm and @TfL visiting the network’s Emergency Response Unit.”
“Very powerful inspirational speech by Kerri Rogan.”
“Wow, Lisa is a power woman, juggling work and family in a senior role. Just shows the direction of the future. “
Our thanks to Kerri and Lisa for taking the time to talk with us and to give us such valuable advice and inspiration.
Become a member of Women in Transport to get exclusive access to a full programme of events including unique experiences like this.