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Go-Ahead's blue London buses to drive diversity with more women behind the wheel

3 Apr 2024

 

A significant milestone was marked for Go-Ahead on 28th March as two vibrant blue double-decker buses hit the London streets, with a bold message: "Go-Ahead Women". These buses, now operating on Go-Ahead London’s Route 132 from Bexleyheath to North Greenwich, symbolise Go-Ahead's commitment to promoting gender diversity within the transport industry.

As part of a national recruitment campaign, Go-Ahead is dedicated to encouraging more women to pursue careers as bus drivers. With the ambitious goal of attracting 1,500 women drivers to its UK and Ireland operations by 2025, Go-Ahead aims to challenge the status quo in a sector where women currently represent only 11.5% of driver roles.

Recognising the need for greater representation, Go-Ahead is also investing £8 million in upgrading bus depot facilities which includes work to create inclusive working environments where women colleagues have opportunities, feel supported and empowered to thrive.

The Go-Ahead Women initiative offers an inclusive platform for women, featuring an 8-week fully paid training program, on-the-job coaching, and mentoring schemes, which is an estimated investment of £7.5 million. The company seeks to achieve gender parity by 2035, a pioneering endeavour in an industry historically dominated by men.

The launch of these eye-catching buses today, proudly driven by Go-Ahead London women drivers signifies the need for a cultural shift within the transport industry.

Carmen Bell, one of the Go-Ahead London drivers, shared her journey: "My friends were surprised when I expressed my desire to become a bus driver, but now they see me behind the wheel, interacting with passengers, and they realise it's a perfect fit for me."

Sandra Fraser, another Go-Ahead London bus driver, expressed her enthusiasm for more women joining the profession: "I started driving a few years ago, and witnessing more women entering the industry is fantastic. The support, mentorship, and women-only recruitment days make it accessible for anyone considering a career in driving."

Carolyn Ferguson, Chief People Officer for the Go-Ahead Group, emphasised the company's commitment to empowering women: "With this new campaign we’re determined to break down barriers in the transport industry and create a workplace where women can thrive.

“I’m sure there are lots of women who have never thought about being a bus driver and so, this is a perfect way to explore the opportunities available.”

To learn more about the 'Go-Ahead Women' initiative and join the movement towards diversity and inclusion in transport, visit Go-Ahead Women - Supporting women in the bus industry.