Brighton and Hove bus bosses want more women drivers

Posted On 12 Sep 2014 at 9:53 am

Brighton and Hove bus bosses hope to tackle gender stereotyping at an event tomorrow (Saturday 13 September).

Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company driver manager Judith Aylward will be at Churchill Square with some of the company’s women bus drivers.

They aim to challenge the stereotypical view of bus driving and promote it as a career for women.

The company said that the bus industry has traditionally attracted a larger number of male employees than females but said that this was changing.

Bus company bosses feel that many women would have a different view of the job if they could find out more about the role.

And they said that there was no reason why women should not consider becoming part of the industry with flexible hours and a rewarding job in customer service being key attractions.

Currently about 60 women drivers work alongside about 800 men.

Judith Aylward hopes to introduce herself on the day to women who might want to consider driving a bus as a fresh career opportunity.

She will be inviting those interested to an organised event at a local bus depot to test drive a bus to find out just how much easier handling the vehicles has become.

She said: “I want to say to women that if you have ever thought about becoming a bus driver but weren’t quite sure whether it would be right for you, or you weren’t sure how to get into the industry, please come along to Churchill Square on Saturday.”

Managing director Martin Harris said: “This might sound like an issue from two or three decades ago but the fact that women are still significantly underrepresented in our workforce does matter to us.

“This is by no means unique to Brighton and Hove but our team genuinely wants to start changing this to better reflect the community we operate in and the customers we serve.

“This is one of several initiatives to update perceptions of the job for women.”

Engineering director Steve Ambury, who is Judith’s “sponsor” in the work to improve the company’s gender balance said: “It is great to be part of a team who are looking to encourage more women into the industry and it would be great to get some female engineers on board.

“We will be advertising vacancies in the near future and next year recruiting apprentices and would like to see as many women as men applying.”

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