Driving Change at Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire

Driving Change at Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire
Tracie Clugston has been a encouraging more women to explore careers in the bus industry.Stagecoach MCSL

Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire is driving change across its depots and working to develop a more diverse and sustainable workforce.

Did you know almost 10 per cent of Stagecoach drivers across the three regions of Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire are women? That’s why the company, in light of International Women’s Day, is launching a campaign to drive awareness of the great career opportunities available for people of all genders across its workforce.

The company is celebrating the team members who are playing a part in driving positive change across the business. These include Tracie Clugston, a driver at the company’s Chorley depot, who has been a champion in working to encourage more women to explore careers in the bus industry.

At the age of 36, Tracie quit her job as a youth worker to become a driver for Stagecoach. At the time, the Bolton-born woman was one of only two female bus drivers working at their Chorley depot.

I really enjoy the camaraderie between me and my passengers. If I can help brighten up someone’s day, it really has been worth it!— Tracie Clugston, Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire

Fast forward 14 years and there has been a positive sharp increase in the number of women bus drivers – almost a quarter of bus drivers with Stagecoach working in Chorley are now women.

As a member of Stagecoach’s national women’s committee, which meets twice a year to discuss female driver’s needs and ensures gender parity, Tracie is working to encourage even more women to enter the industry.

She added: “There really has never been a better time for women to become bus drivers. We are given first-class training from the outset with the opportunity to learn more skills as we go.

“It’s also a great social job. I really enjoy the camaraderie between me and my passengers. If I can help brighten up someone’s day, it really has been worth it!

“I can already see a positive shift in the number of women interested in becoming drivers, especially in the younger generation. There’s a growing consensus among women that they have the skills to make it in the industry, which is great to see.

“Working on the buses is also a great opportunity for mums. Stagecoach is really supportive and works your shifts around your personal life commitments whether that’s child care or medical appointments.

She said: “I left my first career because I’d got to a stage where I wasn’t getting enjoyment out of work and I really wanted to explore a new industry. I’ve always enjoyed being out on the roads so I was immediately drawn to a career on the buses.

“Being a woman has never held me back from achieving my dreams, I was given the same level of support as my male colleagues and treated with respect by everyone, whether it’s my co-workers or my passengers.

“We’ve come a long way in the 14 years I’ve worked at Stagecoach and I now truly believe we are leading the way for women in the industry.

“Stagecoach has always listened to our feedback, whether that’s making the buses safer or giving us the opportunity to work around childcare. It’s fantastic to have consistent support from our management team and to be part of a business that is focused on gender parity.

“I’m also incredibly proud to be part of the company’s committee that ensures we have the processes in place to continue to operate best-in-class working practices that support a diverse and sustainable workforce and make the company an attractive employment option for people no matter what their gender.”

Tom Harrison
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