CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Women in STEM 2020

Women Who Wander is a unique group of writing projects that engage women and girls in expressing their views of the rail and community rail industries. Women In STEM 2020 looks at how we can encourage more women and girls to join STEM roles in these industries, and promotes their views of these exciting roles within rail.

The Women Who Wander group of projects began in 2018, and has now expanded into Women In STEM in 2020.

The rail and community rail industries are working towards making rail a more equal, diverse and inclusive place. By ensuring we promote and champion the voices of women and girls, we can shape the future of rail as an attractive option for travel and employment for all women.

A key aspect of this is engaging with women and girls from a wide range of backgrounds; not only encouraging them to consider rail and community rail career options, but using their opinions to inform and shape the future of these industries with their lived experiences in mind.

Women In STEM specifically looks to engaging women and girls in experiencing rail use and considering the STEM roles within the industry, producing inspiring writing and creative art pieces in a wide range of styles, expressing their views. These views are essential for building a genuinely inclusive transport industry now and into the future.

These published winning pieces were selected from hundreds of entries, and on the 9th of March 2020, the authors and artists attended the launch event at the National Railway Museum, to read their pieces to industry professionals and the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker.

Download the full winners booklet here: Women In STEM 2020

We thank the funders of this project, along with our sponsors and supporters including London North Eastern Railway, Northern, Merseyrail, TransPennine Express, East Midlands Railway, Hitachi, Network Rail, the South Yorkshire CRP and the Bishop Line CRP, educators and groups who gave their time and resources in facilitating, all the women and girls who participated

We are also extremely grateful to Bernadette Kelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport, Karen Hornby, Head of Performance and Customer Relationship at Network Rail, and Carolyn Watson, Community and Sustainability Director at Northern, who were invaluable in selecting the final winning pieces.

Special thanks must go to the Community Rail Lancashire team, without whom this project could not exist.

For more information, or to be involved with Women Who Wander, please contact

Some Feedback from the event at the National Railway Museum, York

“A truly inspiring event: wonderful girls and great writing. I will be a Woman Who Wanders!” – Councillor Janet Looker, Lord Mayor of York

“I liked the awards and speeches they were very amazing!” – Sophia, young dancer, Staged Kaos

“An inspirational event! Well done to all.” – Marie Addison, Northern

“Fantastic event to inspire the next generation of girls to consider STEM based opportunities. I thought it was wonderful to see ladies who had never used trains before being involved.” – Jenette Rowlands, Brownies 8th St Luke’s Formby

“There were so many inspirational women here today.” – Mia, young dancer, Staged Kaos

“A truly inspirational event. It’s fantastic to see so many young women enthused about the rail industry. Aim high!” – Nina Harding, Hitachi Rail

“Wow, hugely inspiring. Fabulous poetry and so well read! Kaos rock!” – Kul Bassi, Department for Transport

“The entirety made me smile, feel so included, and above all I felt inspired by a room full of winning women of all ages in their celebrated glory, to be proud of myself too. I thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the entries come to life with so much courage and pride – a side to women I am clearly not used to seeing often enough!” – Elena, young participant, Proud Trust Young Women’s Health Project

“A brilliant event showcasing the talent, potential and enthusiasm of young women who will hopefully be inspiring to work in the rail industry of the future.” – Catherine Huddleston, Bentham Line

This project was funded by Community Rail Lancashire, the Northern seed corn fund and the Community Rail Development Fund.