Go-Ahead celebrates its successes in attracting more women to the bus sector

  • One-in-three applications for Go-Ahead’s 2020 bus management graduate scheme came from women
  • Go-Ahead has set a target to increase female representation in its bus companies from 11% to 20% by 2025
  • The company launched an industry-first “Women in Bus” network in 2019 
  • Go-Ahead has a gender-balanced board with over 50% female representation 

6 March 2020 – The Go-Ahead Group is marking International Women’s Day by celebrating its progress in attracting more women into the bus industry at every level.  

Following the launch of its “Women in Bus” network, the rail and bus operator has seen a jump in numbers of female applicants for its bus management graduate scheme. 

Over a third (35%) of graduate applications in 2020 came from women – up from 23% in 2019. 

Successful applicants to the graduate scheme learn all aspects of management: from scheduling services and managing teams to making decisions that impact the two million journeys Go-Ahead bus services every day.

Graduates will join companies across the country, such as Go North East, the Oxford Bus Company and Go-Ahead London. They will aim to follow the lead of people such as Rachel Perkins, a Cambridge graduate who signed up to Go East Anglia’s graduate scheme in 2018.

Go-Ahead has also succeeded in employing women in senior leadership positions, with women now accounting for 30% of senior bus roles. This is a significant increase from 7% in 2015. 

Katy Taylor, Go-Ahead Group’s Customer & Commercial Director said: “It's good news to see that one-in-three applications for graduate roles in our bus operations now come from women. There is still a long way to go, but landmark initiatives such as ‘Women in Bus’ are beginning to make a tangible difference.”

“I hope that our progress can inspire fresh commitment across the transport sector as we work together to break down the barriers, challenge the stereotypes and attract women to careers in bus.”

In addition, Go-Ahead has seen a significant increase in hiring female apprentices. At Go-Ahead London, 17% of apprentice bus drivers are women. Go-Ahead London is also working with Transport for London on a “Women with Drive” project - a pre-employment programme targeted to hiring women into the bus sector.   

Currently only 11% of Go-Ahead’s 15,500 bus employees are female, reflecting the traditional male dominance in the sector. The company has set a goal to increase representation up to 20% by 2025 – doubling the number of women across the company. 

Go-Ahead is already one of few FTSE 250 companies to have a female-majority board. Last year, it launched a “Women in Bus” network to support and empower female colleagues in Go-Ahead bus companies across the country.


For more information please contact: 

Mark Sands, BCW


07979 904 401


Go-Ahead press office


020 7799 8999



Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies.  Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world.  Employing around 29,000 people across our businesses, over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aim to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.


Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. We have a strong presence in London, with around 23 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for Transport for London. Outside London, we principally serve high-density commuter markets, including the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, we operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland. 


The rail division operates two franchises in the UK and two contracts in Germany. In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through our 65% owned subsidiary, Govia, which is 35% owned by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for around 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises. In Germany, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead.


Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Group’s control or can be produced by the Group. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision. Except as required by law, the Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward looking statement.