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Go North East champions its 200-strong driving force of inspiring women

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Ahead of International Women’s Day (Sunday 8 March), Go North East is championing its 200 female employees that make a substantial contribution to the company’s services.

From apprentices to senior management, women cover all roles at Go North East, including driving, engineering, marketing, customer services, payroll administration, service control and supervisory jobs, depot management, recruitment, training, support roles and more.

The company’s parent company, the Go-Ahead Group, has also created a ‘Women in Bus’ network that is setting out to encourage more female applicants and increase representation of its bus workforce from 11% to 20% by 2025. Additionally, the network is supporting, developing and empowering female colleagues, whilst demonstrating that bus driving and other roles in the profession are open and achievable by everyone.

One of Go North East’s most recent appointments is Mandy Davies, the company’s new service delivery and control manager who heads up the company’s central service delivery centre, overseeing the on the road operations of its nearly 700-strong bus fleet. Mandy has a wealth of experience in the industry and is responsible for helping the company improve operational performance, efficiency and customer satisfaction, as well as working across internal teams and with local authority partners to optimise operating infrastructure and service plans.

Mandy’s manager, Shirley Connell, is Go North East’s head of operations and has worked for the company for 28 years. From starting out as a minibus driver, Shirley has progressed in her career through the years, picking up many awards, and is now an integral part of the company’s senior management team.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Go North East, said: “Mandy and Shirley are two of our many fine role models, and I’m so proud to be in a position where I can say we have 200 inspiring women helping us deliver an exceptional service for our customers day in, day out.

“The hard work doesn’t end there though. We, along with our parent company the Go-Ahead Group, are committed to encouraging more women to take up roles within the bus industry and we hope today’s role models can inspire the next generation of applicants and rising stars.

“Just think when you board your bus this International Women’s Day and you’re greeted by a female driver, you could well be on a bus that has been maintained by a female engineer, controlled by Mandy from our service delivery centre, managed by a female depot operations manager and overseen by one of the many females in our customer services team.”

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