An Oxfordshire rail boss has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

Ruth Busby, regional director of people and transformation at Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail Wales and Western, said she was overwhelmed to receive the honour.

The married mother of two, from Didcot, was awarded the honour for services to diversity in the rail industry, which recognises not only her work in the rail industry but in other organisations she represents.

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Mrs Busby said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and feel so humbled that people took the time to nominate me.

“We know that people are their best when they feel valued, can be themselves and believe that their wellbeing matters.

“The work that I and my brilliant teams have been doing has aimed to create greater equity and workforce diversity, so that we’re more representative of the communities we serve and have an environment where everyone can flourish.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with organisations and charities beyond the day job to help bring about some exciting and positive change.

“I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done to promote and support positive mental health and wellbeing, which is so important.”

Managing director of GWR Mark Hopwood said: “Ruth joined the railway industry with an impressive CV five years ago and it’s been a pleasure to work with her since then.

“She quickly assimilated the key issues facing the industry and has been able to work successfully on delivering an agenda of change to help us to address the challenges of the future through our people.”

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines added: “Ruth is a true star of the railway.

"She has a relentless focus on improving our sector for the benefit of all passengers and staff and has been a real champion of diversity and inclusion.

“She richly deserves this recognition. Very many congratulations, Ruth.”

Mrs Busby joined GWR in 2018 and, after helping to lead colleagues through the Covid pandemic, was named HR director of the year at the 2021 Personnel Today Awards.

In January this year she began a joint strategic role with responsibility for the HR and internal communications team in both GWR and Network Rail’s Wales and Western region.

Over the past couple of years, she has also worked with the Department for Transport, the Samaritans, and Mental Health at Work, to lead a research study on mental health and wellbeing across the rail industry.

She is also the executive sponsor for Rail Wellbeing Live, the biggest health and wellbeing movement in the history of the rail industry.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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