Published: 3rd October 2023
This year’s Black History Month theme ‘Saluting our Sisters’ highlights the crucial role that black women play in shaping history, inspiring change and building communities. We caught up with some of our colleagues to talk about their own experiences…
Diane Reid, Bus driver: Perry Barr depot
Before I started at NX I was making my way to my parent's house and an unexpected sight caught my attention - a young white woman bus driver confidently driving the number 65 bus. It was a moment that demanded a double take, as the presence of a woman behind the wheel of a bus was a rarity.
I couldn't help but reflect on my circumstances, my wants and desires for a new job role and the stereotypes and barriers that this woman driver was defying. It felt like a sign that I too could drive a bus and break down barriers. I thought to myself “I can do that, I’m just as capable.”
As a woman, I’m very proud to be working in the transport industry, representing not only other women but also people of my ethnicity. When I started this job 17 years ago I didn’t see many women, certainly not black women, and that’s actually why I took the job - I saw that young girl behind the wheel of a bus and I was so inspired by her, I wanted to do the same - inspire other women.
The women at our depot get on, we have our group chats and make a point of sticking together. It's nice to be able to surround yourself with other strong independent women who aren’t afraid of old stereotypes.
Earlier this year a few fellow women colleagues and I featured in NXWM’s children’s book ‘The Wonderful Women Bus Drivers of the West Midlands’. It celebrates our women colleagues and the important roles we play within the local community.
I’m really proud to be featured in the book. It’s a great feeling knowing that I represent a confident black woman bus driver and that the representation in our book could help shape minds, break down barriers and inspire the next generation.
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