Go-Ahead plans to recruit 1,500 women drivers

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Carolyn Ferguson Go-Ahead Chief People Officer at the Go-Ahead Women launch. GO-AHEAD GROUP

The group is seeking to achieve 50% gender equality by 2035

The Go-Ahead group has set itself a target to recruit 1,500 new women drivers and achieve 50% gender equality by 2035 in its bus divisions, and plans to invest £8 million to create inclusive environments and training opportunities. Through its the ‘Go-Ahead Women’ initiative, the company hopes to make a significant step forward in the traditionally male dominated transport sector.

Recognising the need for greater representation, Go-Ahead has also pledged to invest £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.

According to recent data from Women in Bus & Coach, women make up 10% of the workforce in the bus industry. At present, Go-Ahead says 11.5% of bus driver roles are occupied by women within its bus companies, and in the run up to International Women’s Day the group outlined its commitment to bridge the gender gap and to achieve true gender diversity by 2035.

In addition to the recruitment drive, new staff will benefit from an eight-week paid training programme, designed to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to excel in their roles, which Go-Ahead says underlines its commitment to lead the industry in nurturing talent and providing equal opportunities for career advancement.

In its UK rail division, the number of women train drivers joining its Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) franchise has steadily increased year-on-year, with 2023 seeing the figure reach 40%.

Matt Carney, Chief Executive of Go-Ahead Bus, said: “Gender equality isn’t just a goal – it’s a commitment to building a better future for all. By setting an ambitious target to achieve 50% gender parity by 2035 and investing £8 million to support women drivers in their work environment, we are taking decisive steps to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.”

Chief People Officer for the Go-Ahead Group Carolyn Ferguson said: “We firmly believe that diversity drives innovation and success. We’re investing in training and development opportunities for women drivers, and by doing this we’re not only enriching our workforce but also paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

Go-Ahead women drivers at the event. GO-AHEAD GROUP