This week (Thursday 22 June) industry body, High Speed Industry Rail Leaders, of which Fusion are members, hosted their second summer conference in Birmingham.

The conference, how HS2 will transform regional economies, was delivered by a range of speakers, all invested in how HS2 will; connect people, communities, businesses and cities for the future.

In participation of the conference, Fusion sponsored professional illustrator, Juli Dosad, to capture messages from the speakers, in illustrative form. A large canvas was featured prominently on the stage, as delegates observed the progress of the illustrations being scribed live. Once completed the fully illustrated canvas was featured, for delegates to enjoy.

Feedback was positive, with many commenting on the power of illustrations, as a tool to engage, with those outside of the industry.

Overall the illustrations captured were themed around; the transformation of regional economies through regeneration, innovation and use of the latest techniques in construction, how the industry will attract a diverse and inclusive workforce and compete globally with a new world class railway.

Within Fusion the illustrations will be used as a means of taking industry themes and communicating them with a wide range of stakeholders. A commitment to changing perceptions of the industry.


Fusion took the challenge once again participating in this year’s Big Rail Diversity Challenge for the second time, an annual event organised by Women in Rail. The team were also joined by supply chain partners, Thomson Ecology, a commitment to developing a one team – one culture approach.

During the course of the day the gender-mixed team took part in mental and physical activities that included blindfolded land rover driving, a quad bike obstacle course, a bubble football match and crazy golf. Fusion competed alongside teams from HS2, parent company BAM Nuttall and others.

However behind the excitement and fun of these exhilarating challenges was a very important message: for the industry to continue raising the importance of inclusion and diversity within the workplace.

One in five rail engineers are aged 55 and over. This ageing workforce combined with the development of high speed rail leaves a growing skills gap within the rail industry. Inclusion and diversity enables the industry to widen its reach for talent, tackling acute skills shortages.

Attending the day, Sam Hewlings, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Fusion, said, “The Big Rail Diversity Challenge, unlike typical industry events, is centred around sports, games and team spirit.  Working in this way makes for inclusive team-building. All have a part to play and each individual has the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and unique skills.

“The day to day behaviours of a typical working environment are removed.  Individuals are no longer identified as a role or by a set of characteristics but for the person they are; their abilities and talent. These are the behaviours we must take back to our organisations, encouraging the industry to continue to build on this all important issue.”