In 2020, RSSB is going beyond the legal requirements and reporting the pay gap for our Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees. At RSSB we are proud to publish our first joint gender and ethnicity pay gap report. We believe raising awareness is the right thing to do for our people, our business and the industry. RSSB remains committed to reducing the pay gap and we are working with our employees to identify practical ways in which we can do this.

Our statistics for 2019

We have calculated the mean and median gender pay gap to be 21% and 23% respectively.

Please read our 2020 Gender & Ethnicity Pay Gap Statement for further details.

Our people

RSSB supports the career and development of its staff. Meet some of the women who work in our key technical and engineering roles to find out what they do.

Sharon Odetunde

Head of Academic Partnerships
Joined September 2013

It’s always been railways for me. I studied Mechanical Engineering to get into engine design. I did placements with Shell, Ford and Rolls Royce, then settled in London. A career in the rail industry was the perfect fit. My first ‘proper job’ was a graduate engineer with Tube Lines (part of Transport for London). I tried different roles, gaining experience in mechanical building services, station design, rolling stock maintenance and track engineering, which I specialised in. I worked on major projects, including the track planning and resilience work for the 2012 London Olympics.

I joined RSSB, swapping managing maintenance for heading Research and Development partnerships. I manage partnerships with academic institutions across the country. Projects ranging from robotics to passenger behaviour constantly push me out of my comfort zone. I also manage international research partnerships, which have given me an opportunity to travel to the USA, Japan, Italy and Germany. I currently sit on the organising and scientific committees of two international rail conferences, the IMechE Stephenson Conference and the World Congress of Rail Research.

I work closely with STEMNet as an engineering ambassador, visiting schools and colleges, running evening workshops and arranging depot visits. As well as promoting engineering to others, I find these events a good way to keep my own skills sharp as you never know what questions you will be asked. I am also undertaking a research project at the University of Birmingham. My line manager and colleagues, particularly other women engineers, encourage me to develop my career. For example, I was temporarily the Professional Lead – Engineering for R&D, which broadened my experience and knowledge.

My current role is different to usual engineering roles: I help shape and contribute to the future of our railway. You can’t get more exciting than that.

Dr Emma Taylor

Lead System Safety Engineer
Joined November 2015

My route into rail hasn’t been direct. My career has taken me to outer space as a rocket scientist, then down to the ocean depths during my time in oil and gas, before landing on dry land and into rail. All my roles have brought me new technical skills, developing my professional expertise in different ways.

At RSSB, I support risk assessments for changes to standards, and share RSSB best practice with stakeholders. I’ve been involved in projects including Defective On-Train Equipment, Hybrid Safety-Cybersecurity Risk Assessment, the Digital Rule Book, Secondary Emergency Communications and Digital Signalling “Caution on Green”.

The commitment to my continuous professional development (CPD) makes RSSB stand out. Since joining, my line manager and senior staff have encouraged me to develop my potential, both as a technical specialist and a senior leader. RSSB supports my engagement with two senior mentors, the former Technical Director of RSSB and the Head of Operational Assurance at a PLC multi-national. As a Fellow of the IMechE, I have also had the opportunity to act as a CPD Auditor and a Chartered Engineer. I am the Chair of the Safety and Reliability Society, affiliated to the UK Engineering Council.

I have always been passionate about CPD. As I’ve effectively had three careers in one, retraining and learning new industries, I’ve got experiences to share. I have been mentoring the next generation of engineers since 2001, mentoring both men and women to make a positive impact on diversity and inclusion. I am absolutely committed to supporting women in Engineering, and speak regularly at the UCL Student Society of Women Engineers to support and encourage women in engineering roles. I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society – so I’m continuing to encourage engineers to reach for the stars, literally as well as figuratively!