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Morson Sponsored Big Rail Diversity Challenge Goes Virtual!

James Kenealey morson news

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Morson Group was proud to once again by the Key Sponsors of Women in Rail’s annual Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2020 on Wednesday 9th September 2020.

Traditionally a team event consisting of a series of physical, team-based challenges, for the first time ever the event took place completely virtually due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Despite this, organisers Nimble Media were keen to ensure the day was a fun challenge for all participants.

Delegates in the virtual event participated in physical and mental challenges, which included Escape Room, Murder Mystery, Haka and Body Rap - aimed at demonstrating that gender diverse teams work better together and that, for companies, an improved male:female and diversity ratio in their workforce will boost staff morale, employee wellbeing and ultimately business performance.

Women in Rail was set up in 2012 to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK rail industry. Its membership comprises over 4,000 men and women employed in the railway. The charity, which operates through 8 regional groups in the UK, provides a robust networking and development platform to women of all backgrounds and grades working in the rail industry and runs the very successful cross-company mentoring programme.

Morson rail director Gary Smithson was among the judges and speakers, and provided an introduction:

“As a global recruitment agency, Morson have seen first-hand how the pandemic has negatively impacted people’s lives but we’ve also seen how people have come together in adversity, realising the power of true collaboration. The past few months have highlighted that true equality and an inclusive mentality are more important than ever in our professional and personal lives. Working together, adopting different perspectives and helping each other out has simply been essential… for the now, and for the future. Prejudice has no place as we look forward and build our economy back, together. We are proud to continue to champion diversity and the vital work of Women in Rail and the Big Rail Diversity Games.”

Adeline Ginn MBE, founder and chair of Women in Rail, said:

“The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important event in the rail industry agenda. It openly tackles rail’s outdated image, demonstrates that our industry can engage both men and women in equal measure and shows our sector’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in order to create more attractive, productive and successful teams. We are naturally very disappointed that we could not hold the event in its traditional form this year, but we are delighted that the Big Rail Diversity Challenge was still able to take place, albeit virtually. The rail industry has learned a lot about teamwork in the last few months and we look forward to building on this new and positive outlook going forward.”

Recruitment Consultant Charlotte Sumner spoke about her favourite event of the day and what it was like to judge the awards:

My favourite event of the day was Haka, as it was great to see the effort and enthusiasm of the participants, really giving it their all. This event really showed a strong sense of team spirit, energy and sense of humour from all participants. I particularly enjoyed judging MTR Elizabeth Line who did the Haka outside in a park in London.

It was a great experience to participate as a virtual judge as it gave each judge the opportunity to enter the different Escape or Murder Mystery rooms, navigating through the different teams to see how they interacted and worked together.  The virtual events gave the judges an opportunity to see how for the teams in most cases, who were not present in the same room together, but dialling in remotely from home and interacting over a virtual call. It showed a real sense of teamwork and we were proven wrong in the sense of thinking this might have been a more difficult environment to work efficiently and coordinate between team members. It was fantastic to see the teams working effectively together, showing real patience, and listening skills.

Similarly, when judging the Haka and the Body Rap, this was great to see how the team members, which in most cases were doing the event on their own, from home, showed they were unfazed by this and really gave it their all. Some teams even got members of their family and pets involved with the events, really showing a good sense of humour and lightheartedness to the day.

Although we couldn’t be present in-person to attend the event, the virtual event has shown that this wouldn’t stop a great and memorable day.   

Congratulations to the winners of each category:

  • Best Team Name Award: Siemens Mobility Limited (Financial and Commercial) - It’s Accrual World team
  • Highest Score in the Murder Mystery challenge: Siemens Mobility Limited - I’m More Than Just a Label! team
  • Highest Score in the in the Escape Room challenge: CAF Rail UK - Los Españoles team
  • Best Haka Performance: MTR Elizabeth Line team.
  • Best Body Rap Performance: Young Rail Professionals team.

The benefits attained when companies embrace gender diversity and inclusion include enhanced collaboration and more productive teamwork.  We look forward to continuing our commitment to supporting diverse workplaces and continuing our relationship as Key Sponsors at the 2021 Big Rail Diversity Challenge, which will return live to Newark Showground on Wednesday 23rd June 2021.