FirstGroup launches advocate network

FirstGroup has launched an advocate network to bring together those who have taken part in its personal development programmes aimed at women and ethnically diverse colleagues.

The First connections network allows members to offer support and career development guidance to one another. Over time, the network will evolve into a forum where advocates host webinars, share experiences and knowledge and promote opportunities, such as job shadowing or mentoring.

The current schemes are focused on women and ethnically diverse colleagues who are seeking to progress their careers within the business. In addition, FirstGroup runs another development programme for high performing women who have been recognised as having potential to move into larger and more complex senior leadership roles within the business.

According to FirstGroup, more than 500 people have taken part and completed one of its personal development programmes since they launched in 2018.

Claire Weston, head of drivers at Great Western Railway said: “This programme provided useful insights into my strategic strengths and areas for development as identified by my peers, line manager and direct reports. This has given me a view of how I am perceived and allowed me to focus on areas I can improve on, as well as build upon those strengths I already demonstrate. I have found working with likeminded women has elevated my experience. To know that we have a platform for self-development as well as creating a forum for us all to meet and support each other through our career path is invaluable.”

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