Celebrating women – not just one day a year at Dublin Bus

Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Welcome to this week’s instalment of Network News. On Wednesday 8 March, we celebrated International Women’s Day 2017 by hosting our fifth annual CIÉ International Women’s Day conference at Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. We were delighted to host over 150 female employees from Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and CIÉ.  Our delegates were treated to a day of inspirational talks and interactive workshops delivered by guest speakers Susan Hayes-Culleton and Petra Costigan-Oorthuijs. This year’s theme was ‘Be Bold for Change’ and change is exactly what we are trying to do within the transport industry. 

Women in transport are an extremely under-represented sector worldwide with the average figure of employment at 12%. Dublin Bus has a workforce of just over 3500 employees, yet women represent just 7% of that. This figure has been steadily increasing due to a number of company led initiatives over the last few years; however, there is still much more to be done and we are committed to tackling this issue.

Past recruitment methods used by the company have included incorporating images of women bus drivers in all recruitment literature and campaigns, attending recruitment fairs that target women, and commissioning case studies in print media involving women employees at different levels in the company. We have also met with the Department of Social Protection in relation to identifying suitable female candidates for bus driving positions from the live register. 

In 2016 we held open days for women drivers which gave them the opportunity to drive a training bus, supervised by our training instructors, around a short course in our depot yard. They witnessed the work that goes into running and monitoring our services with a tour of the Central Control Department; the hub of our daily operations. They also received 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. The response for the open days was so good that we had to hold two extra days. The number of applications from women for bus driving positions increased following the open days and in December 2016 we had our first ever all female class of new bus drivers graduate from our Training Centre.

We pride ourselves on our commitment to equality and diversity, and we are continuously developing our processes and procedures. Our recruitment procedures ensure employment is offered based on competency to fulfil a role profile; they champion equality, diversity and non-discrimination. 

However, we are also committed to recruiting more women into the company and closing the gender gap between women and men in the public transport industry. 

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