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 Zoi Dendrami, a Driver at Walworth depot, a Health & Wellbeing Champion, and also a Driver Mentor.

How did you get to where you are today?
I always loved driving. My main job was being a journalist, in my country, in Greece, but I always had a passion with driving. So, I got first a licence for a truck, then for a lorry and last for a bus.

When the economic crisis started in Greece, I wanted to do something more. Not only to support my family and pay my bills, but I needed new
experiences. Something to reborn me. I started searching for a job outside of my country. That’s when I found out that I can become a bus driver in London. I didn’t need to think about it much. I took the chance and never
regretted it.

Did you experience any challenges getting to where you are today?
Yes, it wasn’t easy. I had to leave the comfort of my house, my children, my parents, my friends, and come to a new country where I didn’t know where I would live, how my job would be, how would my colleagues treat me. I didn’t even know if I would be able to pass my training. Driving on the opposite side of the road, was one of the biggest challenges I had. But I made it.

How did you overcome these challenges?
Thank God, I met very nice, kind and caring people in my company. My trainers and my colleagues were very helpful. I never felt alone. Step by step I became a professional London Bus driver. A dream came true.

What do you love about the bus sector?
I really love driving as I said before, but mostly I love the connection with my customers. Saying good morning, or good afternoon to them, makes them smile and feel acknowledged. Also, the connection I have with my colleagues is unbelievable. We talk, we share food sometimes, we tease each other and laugh. With many of them, we go out for a coffee or lunch. Beautiful people.

What does a typical day look like?
Well, this job is really demanding, so I don’t have much time for personal life, except for my rest days. I work mixed rota, so after work, or before (depends what time I start work), I cook, eat, wash my clothes, have a shower, and that’s about it. Fortunately, I can have a chat with my colleagues on my break time, and that gives me some energy to continue my job.

What advice would you give to women thinking about a career in the bus sector?
First of all, they might have heard that driving a bus is very hard. That it’s a job mostly for men. Well, it’s not! And for me, driving a bus has become more easy for me than driving my car.

So, if they love driving, love people, and are open to challenges, then they should go for it. Providing a vital everyday service up and down London makes you feel special.

What has been your career highlight in bus so far?
I don’t think I’m on my careers highlight yet. I’m doing a lot, like being a health and wellbeing champion, I’m a mentor to many new drivers, but I still feel I can do more.

What three things could be done to improve the industry for women?
First of all, women, and especially new mothers, need to be able to choose the hours they can work, and days. No mother will choose a job above of her child.
Second, there should be more facilities available for us on the road and of course at every bus stand. When a young woman is in her difficult days, she needs a WC, many times a day.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I can’t see my future, I have no idea what l’m capable to do, even if you ask me about where do I see myself after a month. Like I never imagined I will come to live and get a job in London, it’s the same thing thinking about my future. The only thing I’m sure about is that I’m going to be doing something that makes me happy, and something that I will be making others happy.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Whenever I have time, or on my rest day, I volunteer at the psychiatric clinic in Maudsley Hospital, here in Camberwell, because I like helping people, especially those with mental health problems. It makes
a difference, and I like to do it.


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