Direct Rail Services’ (DRS) Managing Director has won the ‘Woman with Edge’ award at this year’s prestigious Women of the Year Awards.


Debbie Francis won the award for ‘demonstrating the courage to challenge and make a real difference in a male-dominated industry’.

Attended by over 500 people from across the country the Women of the Year awards aim to promote positive female role models who provide inspiration across all areas of society and the business community.

The ‘Woman with Edge’ award recognises business women who challenge the status quo and understand the road to success is not always straight.

On receiving her award Debbie said: “I am absolutely thrilled to win this award. It’s a great honour to even be nominated but to win when against such inspiring and amazing women is truly an honour.

“I’m hoping my work can inspire other women to break into industries which are traditionally male dominated and be catalysts for change.

“We’re committed to promoting equality across DRS, and across the whole of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority group.”

Debbie left school at the age of 16 with very few qualifications, but went on to graduate from Liverpool Polytechnic before gaining a masters from the Manchester Business School.

She has more than 30 years’ experience across a range of industries, including IT, infrastructure maintenance and railways – Debbie is now studying for a PHD.


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