Pride in our people: our LGBT community

We’re proud to be an inclusive employer

Our Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) employee network Archway gives people the chance to influence policy making across Network Rail and the opportunity to meet colleagues in a more social atmosphere through events and talks around the country.

The membership of Archway grew steadily through 2017 by 32 per cent, and it’s not only for Network Rail employees. People from train operating companies, our supply chain and Rail Delivery Group can also join and Archway includes a number of allies supporting the network’s drive for a more inclusive workforce.


Best LGBT network

Archway was founded in 2013. In 2017 it was named the top LGBT+ employee network in Britain for improving the lives of LGBT people at the British LGBT awards.

Network Rail employees Babak Erfani, chair of Archway, and Jane Owen, Archway member and former chair of the national transgender charity Sparkle, have received honours for services to the LGBT community. Babak was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2017 and Jane was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Watch Babak talking about winning the award for best LGBT+ employee network

Inclusive workplaces event

Last year was also the launch of Archway’s first conference, Building LGBT Inclusive Workplaces. The event is part of an Archway campaign to drive LGBT inclusion in all our workplaces – from depots to engineering yards, trackside to corporate offices, signal boxes and elsewhere. It featured seminars, workshops, Q&A and presentations hosted by external leaders in LGBT inclusion as well as from Network Rail and the wider rail industry.

The wellbeing of colleagues is of vital importance to Archway and the simple steps we can take – from opportunities to include gender neutral bathroom facilities, training and support for managers, updated graphics and artwork and provision of more information and guidance on harassment, bullying and issues specific to the LGBT community – will help us improve working conditions for everyone.

Archway annual report 2018

Archway Vision

An inspirational working environment and culture in which everyone is able, and encouraged, to express themselves freely and authentically, without fear.

Archway has been helping to raise awareness of LGBT inclusion in the company for the past four years. Across the country we’ve met thousands of colleagues – giving briefings at conferences, holding drop-in events, lunch-and-learns and working with individuals and teams – and these have helped raise awareness of some of the challenges the LGBT community faces at work and beyond.

Babak Erfani, commercial scheme sponsor and chair of Archway

Out and about

Pride and Sparkle Events

You’ll see us across Britain – last year in Cardiff, London, Glasgow, Bristol, Swindon, Birmingham and Manchester – flying the ‘Proud to be working for you’ banner.

Careers fairs

We attend the National Student Pride careers fair and in 2017 also met a range of people at the new Equal Engineers fair in Birmingham showcasing inclusive and diverse companies with great engineering opportunities.

When people don’t have to spend time and energy concealing who they really are, they can focus on what they do best: delivering a better railway. Creating an inclusive culture is something we must deliver together, every day.

Graham Hopkins, group safety, technical and engineering director at Network Rail, and Archway’s executive sponsor