Case study – recruitment of female bus drivers
Dublin Bus, similar to other transport organisations worldwide, has low female representation amongst its employees especially bus drivers. As of January 2016, 93.5% of Dublin Bus employees were men, with 97% of bus drivers being men.
There are many reasons for this underrepresentation of women in the transport industry including; gender stereotyping; gender segregation; societal norms; and perceptions around safety and ability.
There is also a strong business case for recruiting more women. Working populations are shrinking due to falling birth rates, which is resulting in a shrinking pool of skilled labour causing skills shortages in some areas. This is why organisations should be taking advantage of 100% of the talent pool available to them. Women bring different life experiences and values to a workplace and they have better de-escalating effects and communicative qualities than men which is important in a service industry such as public transport.
Gender balanced teams demonstrate higher collective intelligence not because one gender is better than the other but because they bring different things to the table and this helps reduce group think, and drive innovation and creativity.
Many studies show that equal opportunity in organisations boosts profitability, and achieves higher stock price growth. Women entering or returning to the workplace also helps the economy go around due to the additional workers spending money and paying taxes.
These are all strong reasons for an organisation to embrace gender diversity.
In the spring of 2016 Dublin Bus held a number of Open Days for Women Drivers at our dedicated Training Centre. The purpose of these open days was to help tackle some of the perceptions around women and bus driving. The women who attended the open days were given the opportunity to drive a training bus, supervised by our training instructors, around a short course at our Training Centre. They also got a tour of our Central Control Centre, where our inspectors are based and our buses are controlled from and were provided with information on the recruitment process for bus drivers and the benefits of working for the company. Current female bus drivers and inspectors acted as guides on the day to answer any questions the participants had about working for Dublin Bus.
Nearly 100 women attended the open days. Applications from women for bus driving positions now make up approximately 10% of total applications compared to less than 1% previously.
Since the open days 24 women have been recruited as bus drivers which is a 32% increase on the total number of female bus drivers prior to this (75 to 99 female bus drivers).
Dublin Bus is committed to recruiting more female drivers into the organisation and will continue to encourage more women to apply with the use of open days as part of our overall recruitment policy.
Our goal is to continue to increase the female representation throughout Dublin Bus with a particular focus on bus drivers. We want to ensure a workforce that better reflects our customer base and the wider communities we serve.
Monday, 4 September 2017