· 1 min read · People

Alison Rumsey, Group HR director, Network Rail


Alison Rumsey is group HR director and an executive committee member at Network Rail

She has been working to establish a customer-focused culture since she was promoted from her role as HR director for the infrastructure projects division in 2017.

As a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Rumsey has gained more than 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sector; providing HR leadership to major organisations for infrastructure, rail, financial services and government.

As group HR director she acts as a role model for female professionals and an advocate for collaborative working. Her passion for putting people at the heart of an organisation is developing Network Rail into an inclusive and diverse organisation; a major requirement of the Network Rail People Strategy for which she is accountable. Rumsey is working to make the rail industry an employer for everyone through the 20by20 strategy (which aims to achieve a 20% female employee population by 2020) and through a focus on early engagement with young people and STEM subjects. She has recently established an effective approach to strategic workforce planning that will enable Network Rail to nurture and develop existing and emerging talent.

Through her concerted leadership style and dedication to improving the employee experience, Rumsey was nominated for Chief HR Officer (CHRO) of the year by EMEA leaders of distinction 2017.

She believes that HR has a fundamental role to play in supporting a business to be people-centric. In her previous role at the Department for Transport (DfT) Rumsey delivered a people strategy that future-proofed the organisation. It was designed to identify, retain and recruit the skills and capabilities required in the immediate term and in the future.

Having dedicated her early months at the DfT to gaining a thorough understanding of the transport sector, Rumsey used her commitment to professional development to deliver the first high-potential transport development scheme (in partnership with Cass Business school) and later in 2014 she established the Rail Executive designed to ensure greater co-ordination of improvements to track and trains and to develop a framework agreement governing the relationship between DfT and Network Rail.