Greater Anglia is keen to recruit more women into its workforce, across a variety of roles.
Whilst the rail industry is very male-dominated, more women are being recruited year on year, and since 2013 the number of female staff at Greater Anglia has continued to grow.
Now the organisation has appointed its first ever female yard controller at Crown Point depot in Norwich. Helen Dickerson is responsible for train movements in the yard, and making sure trains are refuelled, kept up to date with maintenance exams, and ready for service each morning.
Helen, who has worked in on the railway for 17 years, started out on a work experience placement before joining full-time when she left school. She did various jobs on the railway including posting tickets to customers, working in customer relations and telesales.
However, having worked at the depot for the last nine years as a production control assistant, Helen felt she was ready for a change and applied for the job as a yard controller earlier this year.
Helen said: "There are more than 100 men at Crown Point and I am the only woman working in a front line engineering role. I trained as a shunter, where I direct movements around the yard and can attach carriages to trains. I'm the person who gets your train out to you each morning.
"I'm really enjoying my new role. There's a lot of job satisfaction - you can come into work and the yard can be very busy, but the role is all about communication and it's great to know you're helping people get to work, school or important appointments every day.
"The railway is a brilliant place to work - not many people would stay at the same job since they left school."
Helen's job has become more challenging recently, with changes to the depot underway. Greater Anglia is investing over £40 million in a project which will see the depot transformed to accommodate some of the company's brand new trains, which are longer than existing trains.
The depot is getting better facilities to house and maintain the 58 new trains being built by Stadler, as well as a new train washing facility, improving servicing equipment and the ability to store and dispence more fuel.
Although Helen is the first female yard controller at Crown Point, Greater Anglia is taking steps to encourage more women to work in the rail industry. Earlier this year a new group called Up was formed to attract and retain more women in the railway. Currently just 22% of Greater Anglia employees are female, something the company is working to address along with the rest of the industry.
The organisation has recently launched an internal recruitment campaign to increase the number of female train drivers. Currently, less than 5% of Greater Anglia train drivers are women. More than 60 women attended an event at Greater Anglia's Stratford office, where they were split into three groups. They attended sessions on training, where they learned the intricacies of being a driver and were shown inside the driver simulators. Another session explored a typical day in the life of a driver, where female drivers from across the network shared their own experiences.
A large part of the event was around recruitment, with a session being run specifically on this to advise attendees on how to apply for roles and what would be expected of them throughout each process, from applying to the medical exam.