19th November 2012

New initiative launched to encourage female taxi and minicab drivers

Addison Lee and Women 1st to offer opportunities and training for women drivers

A new partnership has been announced today to tackle the growing challenge of gender diversity in the transport industry.  Addison Lee – Europe’s largest minicab company – is to partner with Women 1st, an organisation aimed at addressing the lack of women in key sectors, to offer a series of opportunities for female drivers in London.

The initiative, which will see Addison Lee provide 60 placements for female drivers, is funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Employer Investment Fund (EIF) and will aim to address the worryingly low number of women taxi and minicab drivers in the UK, currently standing at only 5.8 percent. 1

The scheme is part of the new Women 1st ‘Step into the Taxi’ pre-employment programme, where participants will benefit from specific training on the skills needed to become a taxi or minicab driver, designed to boost confidence and make them work-ready. The placement with Addison Lee will give women the experience of working with one of the world’s fastest-growing minicab companies as a self-employed contractor.

Liam Griffin, managing director of Addison Lee said: “There are too few female taxi and minicab drivers and it is an issue the industry needs to address. Addison Lee is a family business committed to diversity and equal opportunities, and that is why we are keen to help get more women into the industry. We are very proud to partner with Women 1st, which has already made a real difference to so many working women.”

Sharon Glancy, the founder of Women 1st added: “Addison Lee is a pioneer in gender diversity initiatives and we are delighted that they are offering women the opportunity to enter the taxi and private hire industry.”

After hearing about the initiative, Loredana Aldea, a female driver at Addison Lee said: “I’ve been a driver for Addison Lee for over three years and I love my job. Passengers are always happy and surprised when I pick them up and I’ve had really good comments, particularly from women. Passengers have often said to me that there should be more female drivers on the road.”

The initiative also enables female managers working in the taxi and private hire industry to take part in Women 1st’s renowned ‘Step Up’ training programme which has already helped more than 900 female managers in other industries transform their leadership skills, resulting in more than 33 percent of participants being promoted or gaining additional responsibility.

Businesses interested in taking part in any of Women 1st’s programmes, or individuals who would like to volunteer as mentors, should contact Julie Blasbery at julie.blasbery@people1st.co.uk


1 State of the Nation 2012 Passenger Transport, People 1st

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