Joined Stagecoach in: 2005
Role: Bus Driver
Location: Catford Garage
What attracted you to a career as a bus driver?
My passion to become a bus driver first started about when I was little. My father had a private bus company called ‘Funland’ in the West Indies, which is where my love of buses began. As a people person, I knew that this was something I would later pursue as I wanted to show that women could be bus drivers.
Why did you choose Stagecoach London?
One day I boarded a bus and the driver was a lady I knew. I watched her driving the Stagecoach bus that day, and was in awe of her. I rediscovered that passion which I’d once had, and decided that I was now in a position to pursue the career which I’d always wanted. My friend encouraged me, telling me about the pay, hours and the new found independence she had.
What is the best thing about your job?
Working everyday with people that I would consider my ‘work family’! I love the feeling of getting into my cab, knowing that I am in control of getting passengers from A-B and serving members of the public. It is an extremely rewarding job and you make the day as hard or as easy as you want.
What has surprised you most about working here for Stagecoach London?
You quickly learn that you are so much more than just a bus driver, you are a professional person who is an important and essential part of everyday life for so many people. It is an extremely rewarding career and I feel very privileged to work with great, supportive people.
What are your top three tips that you’d give to anyone thinking of applying to be a bus driver at Stagecoach London?
Did you think of doing a different job before you joined us?
Before I joined the industry I owned a private taxi office. I sold this to follow the one thing that I was passionate about – bus driving.
Please tell us about your experience of being a woman working in the sector?
Being a woman in the bus industry is a great achievement which is hugely rewarding. When I first started, a child boarded my bus and said ‘Look, a lady driver!’ he was very surprised that I was driving the bus. I felt so proud that I had been noticed, I was setting an example for women.
When I started I was a mother of 5; my 2 youngest were my twins who were 18 months old at the time. I have always had an extremely strong network of people around me to assist with my children. It is important to remember that if you show that you are making an effort with your childcare, then the managers are much more likely to assist you further. It’s not down to the company to bend over backwards for you all the time, you need to make an effort too. There are lots of different options for women these days and the industry is a lot more flexible, offering different contracts working different days eg 2, 3, or 4 day working.