Network Rail’s LGBT+ network group, Archway, is run entirely by volunteers alongside their busy day jobs. The group provides confidential support to colleagues, supports Network Rail’s inclusion journey by reviewing policies and practices with an LGBT+ lens, and runs awareness-raising events throughout the year.
Archway have been given this award in particular recognition of their work to become more visible and active throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite this period of uncertainty for the rail industry. Recognising the increased risk of isolation for LGBT+ colleagues, the group strived to champion and support their members.
To do this, the group created and shared a COVID-19 factsheet with the whole organisation, which addressed specific impacts on LGBT+ people and resources LGBT+ colleagues could approach for support. They also increased the frequency of their communications with members and introduced weekly ‘InclusiviTea’ virtual coffee events to keep building community and connection between their members.
Not only has Archway provided consistent support for their members and the organisation, they’ve also shown outstanding leadership to advance LGBT+ equality in the wider rail sector. In 2021, they brought together 200 people from across the industry for their national conference, enabling them to learn about LGBT+ inclusion, share ideas, and inspire each other.
Archway also created 'Rail Industry presents: Virtual Pride', a two-week festival bringing rail organisations together to deliver Pride events for their staff. In only its second year, the 2021 event saw 33 organisations join the celebrations.