Bus company challenges gender stereotypes

This Saturday, 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, to help challenge the stereotypical view of bus driving and promote it as a career for women.

The company says that the bus industry has traditionally attracted a larger number of male employees than females, but says this is changing. They feel many women would have a different view on the job if they could find out more about the role, and claim there is no reason why women should not consider becoming part of the industry, with flexible hours and a rewarding job in customer service being a key attraction. Judith 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 vehicle has become.

Judith Aylward says: “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, commented: “This might sound like an issue from two or three decades ago, but the fact that women are still significantly under-represented 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”.

Judith Aylward and some of her female colleagues from Brighton and Hove will be at Churchill Square, between the bus stops and the shops, from 9am to 4pm on Saturday 13 September.

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