IWD 2024

International Women’s Day 2024: First Bus pledges to double number of women in the business

On International Women’s Day 2024, First Bus is making bold commitments on gender – to double the number of women in the business in the next five years. Furthermore, in line with the FTSE Women Leaders recommendations, First Bus also aims to have 40% of senior leadership roles filled by women by 2028. 

To reach this goal, First Bus is making two ambitious new recruitment pledges: 

  • All senior candidates (roles that are Staff Manager and above) will face a balanced panel of female and male interviewers at their first interview*; and
  • Shortlists for senior roles (Staff Manager and above) will include an equal number of male and female candidates*.

The pledges come as First Bus seeks to attract even more women into the business after successfully doubling the number of women in the business over the past five years.  

On International Women’s Day, it is important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of all our female colleagues. Women work across a variety of roles throughout the business, and we are delighted to showcase the opportunities a career in the bus sector offers and to inspire the next generation of female colleagues to achieve their goals.  

In an industry like the transport sector, which is heavily dominated by men, we recognise that allyship has a huge role to play in achieving true gender parity and it is essential for the business if it is to achieve its goals. 

Janette Bell, Managing Director at First Bus, said: “This latest milestone is only the next step in our journey, but I am proud we are now putting these pledges in place to help us achieve even more.  

“Our ambition is that by 2028, 20% of our business will be made up of females. This would see us doubling the number of women in the business within the next five years, as we have done over the past 5 years. We want First Bus to be a place where our people feel welcome, can be their true selves and succeed.  

“I'm proud of the work we're doing and proud of the women who work alongside me in all areas of the business. We recognise that there is still more to do, and this is a challenge that we are not afraid to address.”  

Louise Cheesman, Chair of Women in Bus and Coach, added: “It’s so important to see businesses like First Bus not only acknowledge the work they have to do to reach gender parity, but also to show real commitment to how they will achieve it.”  

Sonya Byers, CEO of Women in Transport, said: “It is great to see the hard work paying off for everyone at First Bus as they continue to transform their business to attract more women than ever before. The pledges they are making have the potential to make a real difference and aim to attract even more women to join one of the UK's biggest bus operators and into the Transport industry for a rewarding career.” 

Notes to editors

*Wherever possible. Not possible in every scenario.  

The number of females employed include:
Cymru - 9%
West of England (including Bristol, Bath, Wells and Weston-super-Mare) - 12%
Worcester - 12%