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.

Bridget Eickhoff

Principal Infrastructure Engineer
Joined September 2008

I joined British Rail Research as a graduate because it was the most interesting job I was offered, and the rail industry provided lots of opportunities. I graduated in Maths from Cambridge University, and went straight into an engineering role. I’ve been a professional engineer ever since: BRR supported me in becoming a Member, and later Fellow, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

I am a technical expert in vehicle dynamics and interactions. This covers a range of topics including track damage, wheel-rail contact, derailment, vehicle ride and passenger comfort. At BRR I was involved in both the practical, experimental work and the theoretical developments, including on what is now the ‘Vampire’ vehicle dynamics software. I got the opportunity to become involved in European standards work, expanding my knowledge and my network. I moved up the organisation, taking on management roles, while still maintaining technical involvement. 

I joined RSSB in 2008. Initially my focus was on vehicle-track interaction. I advised European committees and supported R&D projects. In 2010, I took on the role of Professional Head of Infrastructure, which allowed me to become more involved in standards work and lead the Infrastructure Standards Committee. I stepped down from that role in 2016 to concentrate again on the technical areas. I’m still involved in standards, but now also provide input into a range of R&D and Innovation projects. Along the way, I became involved in developing the industry strategy on the Platform Train Interface and have found that another very interesting and technically challenging area.

RSSB supported my voluntary role of Chairman of the IMechE Railway Division in 2012-2013 and, more recently, my appointment as an Honorary Professor at Birmingham University and as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. I thoroughly enjoy the wide variety of opportunity that the rail industry offers.