Scottish bus operator looks to get more women behind the wheel and dispel 'inaccurate' industry perception

McGill’s Group says the sector is missing out on a “significant pool of talent”.
Natasha Barr, a driver with McGill’s, said she would encourage other women to think about a career behind the wheel.Natasha Barr, a driver with McGill’s, said she would encourage other women to think about a career behind the wheel.
Natasha Barr, a driver with McGill’s, said she would encourage other women to think about a career behind the wheel.

A Scottish bus operator is looking to break down the barriers and get more women behind the wheel.

McGill’s Group, which has expanded beyond its west coast roots to cover other parts of the country, said it was staging a series of recruitment open days as part of its drive to get more women involved in what has traditionally been a male-dominated profession, and sector as a whole.

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Company bosses said there had been a “historical and inaccurate perception” that women were not suited for a bus driving role or that working in the sector could not be combined with other personal or life commitments such as childcare. The firm’s “Women at the Wheel” events will be held at its depots at Johnstone, Larbert and Dundee on February 10, 17 and 24 respectively.

Managing director Alex Hornby said: “We believe the sector is missing out on a significant pool of talent by not doing enough to encourage women to consider bus driving and we want to play a large part in changing that. Bus driving was historically seen as a man’s job but it is simply not true at McGill’s. We already have a great pool of female colleagues at the company, including many drivers, and we want to retain and build on that. We also want to be able to reflect the diversity that exists within our customer base and communities.”

Natasha Barr, a driver with McGill’s, added: “I started as a driver three years ago, and it's been the most rewarding career. The sense of community and the responsibility of getting people where they need to go is very fulfilling.”

McGill’s Group is owned by Scottish businessmen and brothers Sandy and James Easdale, who have a wide range of business interests spanning transport, manufacturing, commercial property and land investment. Previously serving Glasgow, Inverclyde and the west of Scotland, McGill’s expanded east in 2020 when it purchased Xplore Dundee from National Express, and in 2022, bought First Scotland East and Bright Bus Tours.

The Easdale brothers are also spearheading more than £800 million of major property developments.

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