Women in Bus and Coach appoints Board of Directors

An inaugural Board of Directors for the Women in Bus and Coach (WiBC) initiative has been appointed. The milestone marks a step forward in the organisation’s mission to promote gender diversity and inclusion within the bus, coach and community transport sector.

Among the appointed directors are individuals with extensive experience in operations, safety, policy, advocacy, finance, people, marketing, and technology, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the sector. By leveraging their collective insights and networks, the board aims to implement initiatives that empower women, break down barriers to entry, and promote equal opportunities for all professionals in the field. As part of its mandate, the board will oversee the strategic direction of WiBC, spearhead initiatives to address gender disparities and serve as ambassadors for diversity and inclusion within the transport community.

Louise Cheeseman, Chair of the Women in Bus and Coach Initiative, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome such a distinguished group of leaders to our board. Their collective expertise and passion for fostering diversity and inclusion will undoubtedly drive meaningful progress in our industry.”

“Women in Bus and Coach will also work with bus and coach companies to challenge and eliminate barriers currently faced by women in the profession” – Kerri Cheek, founding Director of the Women in Bus and Coach initiative

Kerri Cheek, founding Director of the Women in Bus and Coach initiative, said: “Women in Bus and Coach will also work with bus and coach companies to challenge and eliminate barriers currently faced by women in the profession, creating a more inclusive service that is representative of our customers. We want women, whatever their background, to have equal access to a career in the industry and a workplace designed around their needs.”

The Women in Bus and Coach inaugural Board of Directors consists of:

Louise Cheeseman, FCILT, CIRO – Chair

As the former Director of Bus at TfL, and founder and Chair of the Women in Bus and Coach, Louise has recognised that the transition of buses away from conventional diesel to battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cells cannot happen without a resource of skilled professionals that not only drive the vehicles’ but also have the skills to track and evaluate performance by artificial intelligence and diagnostic data. There is a recognised resource and skills shortage that she believes could be addressed by creating a working environment within the bus and coach industry that attracts women, as we know that there are less than 20% of women work in the industry.

Kerri Cheek

Kerri is the Senior Bus Safety Development Manager at TfL, leading the bus safety development strategic change programme. Kerri has worked at TfL since 2006. In 2023, Kerri was instrumental in launching Women in Bus and Coach. Kerri is a founding Director, the strategic lead and also the London Region Chair.

Lorna Murphy

Lorna is the Operations & HR Director at Transport UK London Bus, where she is responsible for six depots and nearly 3,000 employees, and a Director for Women in Bus and Coach.

Candice Mason

Candice is owner of Masons Coaches of Tring, Hertfordshire. Masons operates a fleet of 25 vehicles, providing school transport, contract services, private hires and a programme of day trips and holidays. Candice entered the industry ten years ago. The business has tripled in size since her appointment. Candice has had a pivotal role within the coach industry during the pandemic, campaigning hard and engaging the contribution of trade bodies and government figures to support the industry.

Caroline Whitney

As Director for community transport, Caroline leads on all work that impacts the community transport sector within England. She is the technical lead at CTA for membership and Permits ensuring CTA fulfils its role as a Designated Body.

Laurence Jenkins

Laurence started his career in transport at the age of 16 working for National Express Coaches, starting as a sales advisor at Birmingham Coach Station and working up to Customer Experience Manager in Yorkshire following completion of his degree in Management and Transport Studies. After 11 years at TfL, Laurence joined the construction industry providing finance support for a number of large rail and property projects and then joined Reading Buses as Finance Director, a position he has held for almost five years. Passionate about equality and diversity in the workplace and beyond, he sat on the committee of OUTBound, TfL’s award-winning LGBT staff network group, for several years.

Paul Sainthouse, FCILT

Paul is Managing Director of Dawsongroup bus and coach, a position that he has held since 2002, is a member of the Dawson Group plc Advisory Board and has a career in transport spanning almost 40 years.

Tom Cunnington

Tom is Head of Bus Business Development, at TfL. His role covers a variety of areas including the strategic Bus Action Plan, decarbonisation and air quality, the bus safety programme and customer offer. He has worked in the Buses team at TfL for over 20 years in a number of positions, and previously worked for a bus operator.

Stephen Lynn

Stephen is Marketing Director for transport innovation and research social enterprise TRL. Stephen has over 25 years of strategic marketing and communications experience gained within the transport, technology, innovation, and multisite entertainment sectors. Before TRL, Stephen led the Marketing team for the NHS COVID Pass, which he joined from the Connected Places/Transport Systems Catapult.

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