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Arriva: Inspiring Women in Transport

“If we showcase more female workers breaking the stereotype, then seeing is believing.”

Victory at Euro 2022 last summer turned the England football squad into household names and inspired us to name some of our buses after the women who brought football home.

Closer to home we wanted to celebrate our very own game-changers, highlighting the positive changes in the transport sector for women over the last decade and putting the spotlight on the inspiring women who make a difference each and every day.

At Arriva, we’re really proud of the women who literally drive our business every day who care passionately about connecting communities. They are unstoppable and their influence is rising in Arriva and in the wider transport industry.

These women contribute to our mission to connect people and communities safely, reliably and sustainably and to deliver our services in a better way every day. By increasing visibility and showing everybody that they can do this we want to encourage more people, whatever their gender identity, to join us and lead our diverse and highly-skilled teams.

We have two excellent examples based here on Merseyside, whose contributions make a real difference, motivating others around and them, living Arriva’s values and passionately paving their own way – all while lifting up others and setting examples for the next generation.

Kirsty Mower, 36, is based in St Helens, Merseyside. For just over two years, she has been a duty manager, a bus driver and MyDrive champion and mentor. MyDrive is the technology which allows drivers to ensure smooth and sustainable journeys.

Kirsty said she loves helping people get to the important things in their lives and working with a diverse team at the depot.

She said:

“The challenge has been stereotypes. When I first started as a bus driver, a lot of people – even friends and family – didn’t think I’d be suited to the job.

“There was a huge amount of pressure in the early months, lots of “Have they let you drive? Do they let you drive double deckers?”

“I’ve worked hard to prove myself and taken opportunities for new roles within Arriva.

“I’m inspired by the prospect of career development and the challenge of breaking stereotypes. Before I joined Arriva, I worked on site employed by another company, cleaning the buses. I used to see our female drivers each day and think to myself: “I can do that”. I had limited myself for such a long time. Seeing other women do it day in and out inspired me to take the jump.

“I haven’t looked back. I’ve grown as a person and have more confidence in myself as a woman now than ever before. I feel empowered by my job.

“If we showcase more female workers breaking the stereotype, then seeing is believing. Some women may be holding themselves back through fear of inequality.”

Kirsty Garbutt, 31, is based in Birkenhead, Wirral. For just over a year, she has been a duty manager, and before that was a bus driver for five years.

She said was inspired to join the bus industry by her dad, who is now one of her drivers.

Kirsty said:

“I feel I always put 110% effort into my job and I feel I’ve shown a young female can do just as good a job as a male in this industry, both driving buses and running the depot.

“It’s important we get the point of view of females in this industry for others to see.

“As much as I like to prove to others I can do this job, I love it more that I continue to prove to myself I can do it and I am successful.

“We need to continue proving that women belong in this industry and let our voices be heard about our experience, our jobs and our belief”.