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The north’s biggest train operator nominated for high profile awards.

17 December 2021
Northern is delighted to be nominated for three prestigious accolades at an upcoming business awards ceremony.

The north of England train operator, which employs more than 6,500 people, has been shortlisted for its efforts in improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace and for its commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Additionally, Charlotte Harris, a standout member of the management team, is vying for the title of Young Professional of the Year. 

The Rail Business Awards, which are in their 24th year, celebrate achievements in every aspect of the industry, from daily operations, safety and customer service to technical innovation and major projects and recognises operators, suppliers and infrastructure providers from across the country in 16 hotly contested categories. 

Charlotte, 22 from York, could be recognised as the most outstanding young professional currently working within the UK rail industry.  

Charlotte joined Northern as on a university placement and quickly developed a reputation as a problem solver and innovative thinker. She currently works as an Improvement Manager, looking at various ways of enhancing Northern’s operations to ensure the best possible customer experience. 

Charlotte was fundamental to Northern’s business continuity during the pandemic and developed systems and processes that delivered nearly 7,000 days of critical driver training and six major timetable changes.  

She commented on her nomination: 

“I’m thrilled to be nominated for such a fantastic award, it’s really very unexpected. 

“The rail industry is such an interesting place to be starting my career and I am learning so much about operations, management and planning. 

“Everyone at Northern has been so supportive and I can’t thank them enough for the encouragement and guidance. 

“It has been a challenging time for customers and colleagues, and I hope that the work I have done has improved their journeys and daily work experience. I have loved getting stuck in. 

 “I’m looking forward to learning more and I’m really excited for the awards ceremony. It’s tough competition but fingers crossed.”  

Northern’s continued efforts in making the business a great place to work for everyone have also been recognised in the Diversity and Inclusion category. In a traditionally male environment, Northern has made great efforts to reflect all the communities it serves and has particularly targeted attracting more women into the industry. Since 2017 the number of women working at Northern has increased by 30% with its engineering function growing by 15%. 

Other inclusive initiatives have included BAME awareness training, blind recruitment sifting, introduction of menopause and domestic violence policies, transgender awareness and engagement and training for managers to support colleagues participating in Ramadan. 

Northern is also committed to improving the environment in a sustainable manner and shortlisting judges were impressed with innovative schemes such as all in one waste trolleys at maintenance depots, hundreds of tonnes of paper recycling from on board trains leading to charity donations and uniquely designed bin sensors which can be remotely monitored to ensure wagon removals are only scheduled when bins are full and road journeys aren’t used un-necessarily.  

Speaking of the nominations, Northern’s Chief Operating Officer, Tricia Williams said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted in three categories for the upcoming Rail Business Awards. 

“The awards recognise excellence across the UK rail industry and there is always intense competition for the much-wanted accolades. 

“We are immensely excited for Charlotte, who joined us as a student and has made a fantastic impact in our business and for our customers. She is an exceptional candidate, and we will be cheering her on all the way. 

“We are also really proud of the ongoing work we are doing to make Northern a great place to work for everyone and the efforts we are making to ensure our natural environment is looked after for the long term. 

“We look forward to the winners being announced.” 

The winners of the Rail Business Awards will be announced in February 2022.

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