International Women’s Day – Women actively avoid careers perceived as ‘men only’

Friday, March 8, 2019 - 08:21
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Sue Whaley, HR Director for First Bus

A quarter of women have actively avoided careers because they are perceived as ‘men only’- including construction, bus driving and politics, a study found.

Researchers who polled 2,000 employed Brits found around a fifth of females are stuck in a career they don’t enjoy – and just one in 10 have managed to get the job they’d always hoped for.

A third believe they have missed out on roles because of their gender and 32 per cent feel they have been passed over for promotions for the same reason.

Further to this, 67 per cent still believe it is easier for men to be successful in the world of work than it is for women.

Commissioned by First Bus, who are one of the largest bus operators in the UK, serving towns and cities across the country, with a fleet of over 5,700 buses carrying 1.6 million passenger a day, the research found around half of all those polled believe businesses are more likely to have continued success if there is an even split of genders.

A spokeswoman Sue Whaley, HR Director for First Bus said: “There’s no escaping the fact that men outnumber women in the bus driving world, but more and more women are proving it’s a job they’re great at – and that bus driving is a career that suits them.

“We want to raise awareness of the fact that there are no barriers preventing women from working within the bus industry and that there is more to a bus driver, than just driving a bus. Being a bus driver lets you use your customer service skills in a different way – to help people in the local community get from A to B.

“We’ve recently held female-only recruitment events, which have helped to change perceptions some women have around being a bus driver and we’re looking to run similar events across more of our depots across the UK.”

The research also found 62 per cent of women polled think the gender pay gap exists – compared to 46 per cent of men.

On the flipside, 28 per cent of males think there is no such thing as the gender pay gap and 14 per cent of females feel the same way.

Three quarters of everyone surveyed believe there is still a perception among the public that there are careers only men can do.

Carried out through OnePoll, the research also found 51 per cent of women and 47 per cent of men fell into their current career purely by chance.

Around a third of males, along with 37 per cent of females who didn’t choose their career path wish they had pursued a different career.

However 36 per cent have taken the step change of completely changing their career.

Sue Whaley added: “We are committed to equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion because we believe diverse experiences and attitudes help us better understand the needs of our customers. We are working to increase the number of females applying for bus driver roles within the business as we do believe businesses are more likely to have continued success if there is an even split of genders.

“Our bus drivers put smiles on the faces of our customers and make a real difference in their local communities and we have developed training courses for our drivers which are helping to strengthen self-awareness and build better connections with customers and colleagues.

“We’re working hard to change the stereotypes and to encourage more people to consider a career within the bus industry and we’re doing everything we can to encourage women into the roles we offer.”

For more information on becoming a bus driver, visit