March 28 2024

2024's  Women's History Month, recognises women who are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion.  As a business, Transport UK, London Bus is proud of the women who drive us forward.
The contributions of women at every level of our business make us more able to serve our local communities and our customers. We're proud of the difference that they are making and know that they are the very best advert for a career in the bus industry.
To mark Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we are celebrating some of the brilliant women of Transport UK London Bus.

Who are you, where do you work and what do you do?
I’m Trena Clunis, Relief Driver Manager, currently working at Walworth

How did you get to where you are today?
I am an experienced professional with a proven track record of advancement within Transport UK  London Bus(formerly Abellio). I started as a PCV holder in January 2019 and quickly progressed to covering the
front counter as a lead driver. I utilised my office skills to eventually become an office administrator in 2020. I gained support from the Operations Manager to transition into the role of Relief Driver Manager. I demonstrated adaptability, versatility, and proficiency across various responsibilities within the company.

Did you experience any challenges getting to where you are today?
Transitioning to a Relief Driver Manager role posed challenges, notably in gaining acceptance as an equal by team members. This struggle led to missed training opportunities and difficulty in feeling integrated within the team. However, relocating to another depot eased this transition, providing a welcoming environment where I felt accepted from the start.

How did you overcome these Challenges?
I proactively addressed challenges by pursuing further education to enhance my theoretical knowledge in management and leadership. Completing a degree in business management provided me with insights into organisational operations and bolstered my decision-making abilities.

This academic foundation empowered me to work towards improving staff performance. Additionally, gaining experience outside of my depot allowed me to develop practical skills, complementing my academic learning and contributing to my overall professional growth.

What do you love about the bus sector?
Every day in the industry brings new challenges and opportunities, and my varied experiences have provided me with unique perspectives on how different roles interact and support each other. As a woman in the traditionally male-dominated bus sector, I take pride in breaking barriers and contributing to its evolution. I believe there’s untapped potential in this sector, and I’m committed to staying in the industry until we unlock the key to delivering a profitable transport service that satisfies both drivers and customers alike.

What does a typical day look like?
In my role as Relief Driver Manager, my days are characterised by providing support, guidance, advice and encouragement to drivers, alongside necessary administrative tasks. I navigate between being a counsellor one day and a mediator the next, ensuring fairness and justice. Recognising that everyone has unique needs, I work towards aligning them with the company’s objectives set by the leadership team. My focus is on assisting drivers with their individual requirements while striving to achieve
organisational goals.

What advice would you give to women thinking about a career in the bus sector?
The bus and coach sector requires a balanced lifestyle or robust support network, particularly for individuals with young children, given the industry’s demand for flexibility and resilience. However, this flexibility allows talent to be readily recognised, benefiting both employees and employers alike.

What has been your career highlight in bus so far?
Throughout my career, I’ve experienced numerous highlights. As a driver, receiving commendations from customers, and customers asking and knowing my name is a great feeling. As a Relief Driver Manager, the most rewarding highlight is when a driver expresses gratitude for my support. This acknowledgement assures me that I’m making a meaningful difference in their professional journey.

What three things could be done to improve the industry for women?
There is a pressing need for greater consideration of today’s working environment to support the advancement of younger females.

In the engineering field, there should be increased encouragement for women to pursue careers, addressing gender disparities.

The driving sector, it is essential to acknowledge menstruation as a factor, ensuring accessible facilities and showing compassion for individuals experiencing menorrhagia, especially during late duties where
there may be no additional toilet facilities.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
My goal within the next five years is to hold a position where I can actively contribute to employee empowerment, foster motivation among staff members, and cultivate a positive working environment conducive to enhanced performance. I am, however, not sure what role within the business that may be.

Anything else you’d like to share?
The bus and coach industry offers rewarding experiences based on what you choose to make of them. It fosters a sense of extended family, enriching your journey within the industry.

If you would like to join the Transport UK London Bus team, please see our latest vacancies.