A woman bus driver has drummed up a busload of her colleagues to head off to Lewes to shout from the terraces to support the women’s professional football team – another job normally associated with men.
It is all in aid of Unlock the Gate day on Sunday 25 February, a Lewes FC campaign designed to encourage more people to support the women’s game.
Senior Supervisor at Brighton & Hove Buses, Kirstie Bull, has organised for her colleagues to travel on board, the appropriately named Diversity Bus, which has emblazoned on its sides the hashtags #moreincommon, #diversity and #equality.
Lewes is the first professional or semi-professional football club to pay its women’s team the same as the men’s team as part of its Equality FC campaign. The two teams – who both play on the same pitch at The Dripping Pan – also play with equal budgets and the club is now known as Equality FC.
Kirstie said: “I think it’s really important that we all gather together – women and men – to show our support for this club and the women’s game.
“I know something about working in an industry normally associated with men – where there’s absolutely no reason why any woman can’t become a bus driver and a very good one at that, work their way up the ranks and do really well in the company.
“In football, women have been achieving for a long time, dating back over a hundred years. Today the women’s game is as exciting as ever and players are extremely skilled. It’s time we got behind these really talented women and showed them we really appreciate what they can do.”
Kirstie has worked for Brighton & Hove Buses twice in her career. The most recent stint began a decade ago as a driver before progressing into a managerial position. She said: “I thoroughly enjoy my job.”
Her employer, Brighton & Hove Buses, is right behind her having just agreed a two-year partnership deal with Equality FC.
Brighton & Hove Buses Managing Director Martin Harris said: “I applaud Equality FC for tackling outdated stereotypes and that very much fits with our ethos at Brighton & Hove Buses. As a company we’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to learn.
“Customers already see a number of women bus drivers but there’s plenty of room for more. Partnering with an organisation that is tackling these – still – very difficult questions is going to help us move forward with our own efforts.”
Lewes FC Women play in the FA Women’s Premier League alongside clubs such as QPR, West Ham, and Crystal Palace. Lewes FC (men) play in the Isthmian League South.
Find out more: http://equalityfc.com/