It won the Corporate Award at a ceremony held on Saturday 20 October by social enterprise Reach Society, which aims to motivate and inspire boys and young men in the UK’s black community.
Ken Moore, an assistant design engineer at Network Rail, and colleagues accepted the award on behalf of the company at the event in London.
Pictured in the header image are, left to right: Reinold Aryee, a talent acquisition manager; Marrily Runoona-Rutsito, a human resources business partner; Syed Shah, a graduate engineer; Sharon Salmon, a finance and commercial manager; Ken Moore and Rajinder Pryor, an engagement lead.
Ken (pictured right), who has personally worked with Reach for two years alongside other Network Rail employees, won the Royal Air Force-sponsored Reach Fellow Award.
Reinold Aryee and Syed were also nominated for individual RAF Fellow Awards, for their roles as mentors.
With Cultural Fusion, Network Rail’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employee network aimed at recognising the benefits of a diverse workforce, the colleagues have supported Reach throughout the year.
With heavy involvement from Nicola Benjamin, until recently a Network Rail employee who continues to support Cultural Fusion, they have helped raise the profiles of successful BAME professionals, particularly in engineering.
Nicola said they had worked to encourage young people from BAME backgrounds to challenge their own status quo, conceptions of the industry and inspire them to access pathways to success.
Ken said: “As a mentor and volunteer with Reach I have held round the table with young children from age of nine onwards…. I have personally spoke to over 200 young people… These children come from different backgrounds such as students, excluded children, children from underprivileged environments… troubled background or low income.
“I hold talks with these children as a source of inspiration to encourage them to follow the educational path, go on into higher education or apprenticeship and also to take on [science, technology, engineering and maths] subjects.”
Members of Cultural Fusion
Ken’s volunteering has had a direct impact on the young people he’s worked with. He said: “At this year’s career conference I had two returning mentees - one of the young boys came up to me and said he’s now included in his subject choices maths and physics as he now wants to be an engineer.
“The other was the young brother of one of the mentees that came along with their dad. The dad said that he liked the positive message that I conveyed to his son and has definitely seen a reflection in his attitude and was happy to see me here and has now brought his younger son to have similar experience.”
The awards have come during Black History Month, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in 1948. Cultural Fusion plans to celebrate the anniversary with activities including panel speakers and poetry events.