Arriva Group launches new inclusion strategy

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Targets will increase the number of women in leadership positions and driver roles and will also focus on under-represented groups in leadership positions across the group

Arriva Group has published its new Inclusion Strategy, which it says will ensure a co-ordinated approach across all its European businesses by setting ambitious targets, so that all parts of the group are aligned and working to common goals.

Launched to coincide with the start of the UK’s Inclusion Week, the goals focus on four key areas, including targets related to the company’s workforce, its workplaces, its clients and passengers, and how it serves its local community.

The targets aim to see Arriva Group increasing the number of women and other underrepresented groups in senior leadership and management positions as well as significantly increasing the number of women employed in driver roles. Subsidiaries in each country in which the group operates will develop action plans to support the goals.

The new strategy will run up until 2030, by which time the company expects that: 25% of its senior leaders and managers will be from under-represented groups; 50% of senior leaders and managers will be women; and it will have achieved a 100% increase in the number of women drivers across all its businesses.

Mike Cooper, Arriva Group CEO, said: “These targets have been set because Arriva knows that inclusive workplaces are more likely to have diverse teams – and this is a critical component of having a thriving and sustainable business for the long-term. By having more diverse teams, we can embrace different insights, perspectives, and experiences, challenging us to be even more innovative in the solutions and services we provide for our clients and passengers.”

Arriva Group Chief People Officer Alison O’Connor added: “I am proud to see the new strategy launched today. We already have areas of great practice across our business on inclusion, but we want to unite behind a clear ambition so that we can make sure all Arriva employees are able to succeed regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. This strategy is all about making sure there are no barriers to success and that all colleagues can expect to work and progress in their careers on a level playing field.”

Ahead of the 2030 delivery date, Arriva has set an interim target of 2025, when the company expects 40% of its senior leaders and managers will be women, a figure which currently stands at 30%. The company says it will actively work towards increasing applications from women in driver roles, with each business aiming for a minimum 10% year-on-year increase with a view to doubling the numbers of female drivers in employment with Arriva by 2030. It also wants a 10% increase in the number of senior leaders and managers from under-represented groups by 2025.
Current numbers of female drivers vary significantly, the group said, depending on the country and type of operating business. It therefore recognises that it will require different approaches in order to achieve a significant uplift.

The strategy has been developed alongside workplace inclusion specialist Inclusive Employers, following Arriva’s membership to the organisation in 2021. Arriva added that having a strong strategy with clear targets will help it to overcome societal challenges such as the ageing population, the skills gap in professions such as engineering and the technological age which has created a need for different skills and qualifications as a result of the transition to net-zero. The strategy aims to mitigate these factors by focusing on early careers and increasing the representation of underrepresented groups to broaden the skills, perspectives and experiences of the workforce, Arriva said.