Women behind the wheel

4 months ago Fri 6th Mar 2020

“It shouldn’t be about whether you are male or female, it should be about whether you can do the job well,” said Cardiff Bus driver Suzanne Dean.

The 49-year-old has been behind the wheel of a Cardiff Bus for the past 21 years, and said when it comes to driving gender just isn’t an issue.

 “I can drive a bus better than a man,” she joked.  “It’s become such an important thing for women to be seen in the public eye doing these jobs. That (gender) attitude is stuck in the dark ages,” she said.

Ms Dean is one of four dedicated women at Cardiff Bus who are speaking out on the benefits of driving for the bus operator this month.

Women have been jumping in the driving seat at Cardiff Bus since the First World War, with the flexibility of shifts, camaraderie, and independence attracting female recruits over the decades.

Despite this, just 7% of the bus operator’s current workforce is female, which reflects a clear national gender divide in the transport industry.

Statistics highlighted by Business Wales, the Welsh Government’s flagship business support programme, reveal a worrying gender disparity in the industry, with women accounting for just 2.3 to 2.7 per cent of bus and coach drivers in the UK.

In a bid to encourage greater diversity in the workforce, Cardiff Bus has launched an all-female recruitment drive to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th.

In keeping with the global initiative’s theme of Each for Equal this year, women are being urged to sign up to become a driver and help to bridge the gender gap in the transport industry.

Amanda Canterbury, Head of Human Resources at Cardiff Bus said: “We are delighted to be launching our latest recruitment drive encouraging women across the city to become a part of the Cardiff Bus family.

“Traditionally we have seen a larger percentage of applications from men for our driver positions, and while our dedicated male drivers are integral to our success, we want to create a more diverse workforce going forwards.

“We strive to offer a variety of benefits, which we tailor to ensure they can achieve a greater work-life balance, and ultimately a greater sense of job satisfaction and pride in their work.

“These include more flexible shift patterns, a friendly working environment, good pay and conditions, full in-house training, and consistent support from colleagues and management.

 “We’ve found that some people are dissuaded from applying because there is a misconception that driving a bus is difficult or even scary, however with our full training in-house, and the support of other drivers, we’ll be there to support you every mile of your journey.

“We are looking for outgoing individuals with good communications skills, who enjoy meeting new people, in an environment where no two days are the same.

 “So, if you think you could be a Cardiff Bus driver, get in touch today.”

Applications are now open for the driver recruitment programme, to apply please click here. To find out more about working at Cardiff Bus, visit us at our recruitment day at our Sloper Road depot on Saturday 7th March between 10am and 2pm, or Monday 16th March between 4pm and 6.30pm.