Go-Ahead celebrates attracting more women to the bus sector

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The Go-Ahead Group has marked International Women’s Day by celebrating its progress in attracting more women into the bus industry at every level. Following the launch of its ‘Women in Bus’ network, the rail and bus operator has seen a jump in numbers of female applicants for its bus management graduate scheme.

The firm said 35% of its graduate applications in 2020 came from women – up from 23% in 2019. Successful applicants to the graduate scheme learn all aspects of management: from scheduling services and managing teams to making decisions that impact bus services every day. Go-Ahead has also succeeded in employing women in senior leadership positions, with women now accounting for 30% of senior bus roles, a significant increase from 7% in 2015.

Sophie Moorby is part of the Go North East team, and part of the 11% of female employees out of Go-Ahead’s 15,500 bus employees. GO-AHEAD

Katy Taylor, Go-Ahead Group’s Customer & Commercial Director said: “It’s good news to see that one in three applications for graduate roles in our bus operations now come from women. There is still a long way to go, but landmark initiatives such as ‘Women in Bus’ are beginning to make a tangible difference. I hope that our progress can inspire fresh commitment across the transport sector as we work together to break down the barriers, challenge the stereotypes and attract women to careers in bus.”

In addition, Go-Ahead has seen a significant increase in hiring female apprentices. At Go-Ahead London, 17% of apprentice bus drivers are women, and it is working with Transport for London on a ‘Women with Drive’ project – a pre-employment programme targeted to hiring women into the bus sector.

Currently, only 11% of Go-Ahead’s 15,500 bus employees are female, reflecting the traditional male dominance in the sector. The company has set a goal to increase representation up to 20% by 2025 – doubling the number of women across the company.

Go-Ahead is already one of few FTSE 250 companies to have a female-majority board. Last year, it launched a ‘Women in Bus’ network to support and empower female colleagues in Go-Ahead bus companies across the country.