How businesses can help plug the tech industry’s skills gap

Front view of diverse business people looking at camera while working together at conference room in a modern office

As the technology industry continues to battle a mass skills shortage, Katie Killinger, Head of People at UK public transport app and website provider, Passenger shares her view on how businesses can inspire more people to expand their tech skill sets. 

The technology sector has suffered from recruitment challenges for many years, and unfortunately the pandemic has only intensified these issues, pushing many businesses to breaking point. 2021 saw ‘The Great Resignation’ sweep across the UK, with many workers planning job changes as the number of opportunities exceeded demand. According to research by Randstad, in November, 1 in 4 UK workers were planning a job change and those in the tech industry were among those who claimed to be most confident in finding new opportunities. No surprises there, as tech skills are indispensable for a huge spectrum of industries – but unfortunately there simply aren’t enough sufficiently skilled workers to meet talent demand.

So why are there so few skilled workers? I think lack of confidence is a key reason. When many people think of the tech industry, they see it being filled with complicated data and formulas which take a specific mindset and mentality to understand. What’s more, there’s still a lack of gender diversity in the sector – therefore, a lack of desire for more women to become skilled in the industry. In addition, shifting COVID restrictions have meant valuable tech community meetups and events have had to be put on hold, so opportunities to learn from others through information sharing are being missed.

To help solve these problems, first and foremost, tech businesses need to empower their employees to lead by example and show others what they can achieve to help build their confidence. Showcasing employees from a variety of backgrounds is important to ensure they resonate with a wider demographic, such as a successful female senior employee, or a worker who has progressed through the company without having had substantial prior tech experience. It’s also important to highlight those people to future generations at an early age by collaborating with schools and universities, giving them role models to aspire to. At Passenger, we have a dedicated Inclusion Guild. This is a working group which puts initiatives in place, such as strategies to improve new-starter onboarding and to better identify diversity gaps, to help us build an inclusive workforce – and in doing so, an inclusive product.

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In addition, keeping an open mind is key. Potential recruits may not have specific technical skills, but it doesn’t mean they can’t learn them with necessary training and mentoring from existing employees. In fact, it can almost serve in that company’s favour to hire someone who doesn’t hold specific tech skills for certain roles, such as in Operations or Customer Services. This means they can come into the business with a fresh perspective and gain an understanding of tech specifics, so they can better explain them to clients – removing all elements of technical jargon.

At Passenger, we’ve hired various employees who don’t come from a traditional tech background to help public transport operators better understand our technology solutions. We’re also expanding our recruitment efforts outside of Dorset by advertising fully remote roles, helping us access a larger pool of tech talent across the country. Our workforce has thrived as a result of our broader recruitment strategy, with two-fifths of our employee base progressing to senior level positions since Passenger launched in 2015 – including within our engineering, design and customer teams.

In addition, we’ve helped broaden operators’ workforce skill sets through our services. For instance, when the pandemic hit last year, we hosted training sessions with 85 operator staff members to upskill them on content management tasks, helping those impacted by staff sicknesses.

To further plug the skills gap, we need to work together as an industry to reinstate more tech meetups and conferences. Passenger has held developer conferences in the past, alongside sponsoring local tech meetups including PHPDorset, Mobile Dorset and hackbmth – all of which encourage businesses to share ideas and knowledge through talks and ideas.

These events don’t solely benefit start-ups – someone who’s worked in the tech industry for over 20 years can gain just as much by discussing their own experiences and hearing others from those with fresh insights and new perspectives. Although we’re in a competitive industry, the success of our businesses relies on the success of the industry – and we can help each other by sharing valuable information and educating one another.

About the author

Katie is Head of People at UK public transport technology company, Passenger. Passenger delivers scalable technology to public transport operators of all sizes, including mobile app ticketing, travel information apps, and websites.

With over 15 years of experience working in people and business management throughout the software industry, Katie joined Passenger in 2021, with a goal to strategically scale the business in terms of people and its operations and a critical time in the company’s growth.


Dolly Gulliford featured

Inspirational Woman: Dolly Gulliford | Head of Operations, Passenger

Dolly GullifordDolly Gulliford is Head of Operations at UK public transport app and website provider, Passenger. Passenger delivers scalable technology to public transport operators of all sizes, including mobile app ticketing, travel information apps, and websites.

Dolly is a highly experienced business leader in the entertainment, media and travel industries, across both public service and corporate environments. She worked for the BBC for 8 years driving a dedicated gender equality initiative known as the 50/50 project, which championed the increased use of female expert speakers and presenters in the news. Dolly has also been at the forefront of major campaigns including managing an operational marketing exercise for P&O Cruises, where her team arranged for seven ships holding 40,000 passengers to sail down the Solent in formation as a fleet. Having joined Passenger in April 2021, Dolly plays a crucial role in supporting the company’s rapid exponential growth she leads on day-to-day operations of the business, including HR.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

As Head of Operations, I look after the day-to-day running of the business in terms of HR, finance and contracting. I was brought on to support Passenger’s rapid exponential growth, as the company has won a lot of new business and contracted multiple new clients over the past year, as well as expanding its teams. My role is very hands-on and diverse, and I’ve learned a huge amount in a short space of time already.

Prior to Passenger, I worked for a couple of large companies and after several years, I wanted a change of scenery, and I was keen to find an energetic, dynamic company which had ambition. Although I don’t come from a tech background,I realised it was an industry with huge potential. It’s fast-moving, driven by creativity, and continually relevant in our modern world.

I now know that working for a tech company is what I needed to keep stimulated and engaged in my career. I love to keep abreast of new technology and new ways of communicating, and Passenger is a great example of a company which invests in platforms which help improve people’s lives – both for clients and its own employees. I’ve had to learn the functionality of between 12 to 15 platforms just to do my job every day, but they’re very simple to use and help me work as efficiently as possible – so I would never want to be without them now!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

At the beginning of my career, I did plan a different path to the one I’m on now but in retrospect, it wouldn’t have suited me. I’ve taken many risks in my career, including living and working abroad, and they’ve all produced amazing opportunities which have given me great adventures and memories.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

One of the biggest challenges was holding down a full-time career and following my ambitions while raising a family as a single mum 24/7 for 10 years. Sadly, there’s still a stigma in our society associated with single working mums who commit to high-powered jobs, and I didn’t quite realise how challenging it would be until I started doing it. I had to ignore the judgement from others and just get on with it, and by doing so I managed to achieve things I never dreamt of before, like being offered a senior role in the BBC. I didn’t tell anyone senior I was a single working mum at first because in a way, I felt it made me look weaker – but in retrospect, I wish I’d been more open about it and shown others in a similar position what they could achieve. Regardless of this, I’m proud to be a role model to my children and they’ve grown up to be incredibly independent, well-rounded individuals with strong career aspirations of their own.

More recently, another hurdle has been having to learn the different terminology and functionality of different systems that come with working in tech. However, not coming from a tech background hasn’t been a hindrance – my mission is to get closer to this different language and make it more relatable and understandable for others. To be truly successful, it’s vital that tech companies employ people who bring fresh perspectives, and a diverse workforce to cut through the jargon to help them connect with the ‘real world’.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I helped the BBC drive a dedicated initiative I was particularly passionate about, known as the 50/50 project, with the aim to gain an equal gender balance across content. My role involved inputting into a database of female experts, which journalists could go to when needing commentary for news stories and features. There was a significant disproportion of women used as speakers for tech-related topics, for example, even though they did exist! I was always pushing journalists to actively seek out female experts and use them, to gain an equal balance of voices across stories. As a result of our work, the project was picked up and is used now by many internationally recognised establishments like Forbes and Harvard Business School.

I’ve also led on some really exciting campaigns in my career, such as managing an operational marketing exercise for P&O Cruises, where we arranged for seven ships holding 40,000 passengers to sail down the Solent in formation as a fleet. It was a massive logistical challenge as it had never been done before, but it paid for itself, as the response we got was incredible. I also previously worked  as one of the department heads of the Live Music & Events Team  for the BBC and in 2018, I led on the financial planning for a huge music event, hosting live events in the four nations for several different radio stations, broadcast live on television.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

Taking risks in a role where I wasn’t sure of the outcome was key to getting to where I am today. I’ve experienced so much as a result of taking those risks and it’s given me the confidence to aim higher, and achieve things I never imagined before.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Don’t be intimidated by the language or requirements listed for a job role. Too many women only apply to roles where they align with every single criteria stated on a job post, but it means they miss out on so many opportunities. If there’s something that interests you, don’t be intimidated by the language of a job post, and don’t limit yourself to one type of industry either. Just because you don’t have a specific qualification doesn’t mean you’re not capable of doing a better job than someone who does!

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

In the past, there was a perception that some tech companies had an almost ‘frat boy’ mentality which would certainly put many ambitious women off working for that company. However, I think this is a perception which is changing. Passenger is certainly working hard to change this perception and to attract a more diverse workforce.

Having a football table in the break-out room, for example, is not enough of an incentive for many candidates to be attracted to within a business. In addition, the more we demystify the understanding of tech products and how they can enrich our lives, and work collaboratively across all functions in a business, the more we’ll attract the right talent across the whole demographic in society.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology? 

I think there’s more the industry could do to make technology a more appealing career choice. Companies need to promote women’s interests and show other women leading by example, to inspire others.

A lot of tech mediums, such as video games, portray women in an unrelatable way because they’re developed by men. To help women progress in their career and see what they could achieve, companies need to show them examples of successful women - whether that’s encouraging them to attend webinars or corporate events featuring female speakers, or giving them relevant reading materials written by women.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would increase the awareness of how tech companies actually operate, demonstrating how they deliver products in a similar way to more traditional businesses.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Before I started my current role, I was advised to look at a few reading materials including two books, which I found fascinating and champion the roles of women working in tech and transport. They were  "Invisible Women - Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men" by Caroline Criado Perez and "Door to Door" by Edward Humes which details an organisation called LOL - Ladies of Logistics - set up by a group of dynamic women in the States who couldn't find a networking model to suit them and has grown massively. I found that very inspiring.

What are you excited about in your role, and what are the elements you feel most passionate about?

I’m most excited about the potential growth for Passenger and playing an instrumental role in enhancing and expanding the business on a larger scale. A key mission for Passenger is to help speed up the UK’s journey to  help combat climate change, and this really aligns with my belief that as a society, we all have a collective responsibility to do what’s right for the benefit of our planet and future generations. I’m proud to be part of a company which is genuinely committed to making a difference, through making shared sustainable transport more attractive.

Why do you think it’s important for more women to work in the tech/transport industries?

We need to represent society equally, across all industries – that way, we can serve our customers best. We need to remember that our end users are both women and men, so our products and services should appeal to everyone.

From a personal perspective, I believe it’s important that my children and other young women are exposed to others they can aspire to, through everyday mediums like the TV and internet. My daughter says she wants to become a businesswoman when she grows up, like me, and that makes me incredibly proud because I’ve shown her what she can achieve if she puts her mind to it. She doesn’t have a fear of aiming high, and neither should anyone else.

What are your thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in the transport/tech industries right now?

One of the biggest challenges is the perception of buses in this day and age. On a national scale, buses aren’t deemed an appealing mode of transport compared to cars. London is slightly bucking the trend as everyone uses public transport, however it’s more out of necessity than anything else – with more efficient and frequent systems in place. Rural areas are behind but improving – especially now the National Bus Strategy has landed. All of us in our industry, alongside the government, have a role to play in improving public transport capabilities and making it more attractive in every part of the UK.


WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here

 


Sarah Bott featured

Inspirational Woman: Sarah Bott | Head of Business Development, Passenger

Sarah BottSarah Bott is Head of Business Development at UK public transport app and website provider, Passenger. Passenger delivers scalable technology to public transport operators of all sizes, including mobile app ticketing, travel information apps, and websites.

Sarah has had a diverse career to date, having worked in Europe, Asia and the US and across various industries including sales, marketing and advertising. She was inspired to join Passenger after developing an interest in public transport when working for a company which managed the advertising on all UK buses and the London Underground. Sarah’s role has been instrumental in helping Passenger launch its latest product, myTrip - an app designed for the smaller operator market, offering live bus tracking and mobile ticketing. On a broader level, Sarah is also passionate about mental health, having helped her friend launch her life coaching business, and she’s also due to publish a children’s book on mindfulness in the coming months

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I started at Passenger in January 2020 and am Head of Business Development. My role involves overseeing customer acquisition and business growth.

One of my very first jobs after leaving university was in marketing for a company which managed the advertising on UK buses, as well as the London Underground. Although my career has largely focused on media and advertising, my work with public transport operators and learning about traveller mentality sparked my interest in the wider industry.

Having lived in San Francisco for a few years, which is leading the way with its efforts to improve air quality and carbon emissions, I’d also become very aware of how much work the UK has to do to become more sustainable. I learned that for people to move away from their cars and reduce congestion on the roads, public transport information needs to be accessible, intuitive, and easy to use. Transport technology seemed the perfect solution, so I decided to choose a career in this field.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I have always been attracted to work for companies that deliver high quality products or services and care deeply about their employees wellbeing as well as customer satisfaction. Being in sales and marketing, I’ve always felt the importance of developing a passion in what I do in order to do the best I can. After I left university, I knew I wanted to work in media and entertainment and I purposefully sought out companies that I admired. In more recent years, I have developed a strong interest in working in the technology sector as my husband also works in this space and technology is such an intrinsic part of all our lives now. I researched Passenger extensively before I applied for the role and I was incredibly impressed by their reputation in the industry, quality of the software produced and the company mission around sustainability. My 15 year old daughter is already keen to develop her career in STEM and I love that she has developed this interest at such a young age.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

My biggest challenge was having a young family and juggling work. My two daughters were born very close together - 14 months apart - and I was desperate to spend time with them both as well as keep my job. I was leading a regional sales team for a global media company in Asia and I absolutely loved it. However, they wanted me back full time in the office and couldn’t offer any flexibility, so I made the decision to quit and be a full-time mum for a while. The baby years are precious and I didn’t want to miss out on their early years. When I was ready to return to work, I found a great tech start up that allowed me to work flexibly and from home in San Francisco.

That was 12 years ago and I’m so pleased that now many companies have evolved to offer more flexible working in recent years. In many ways, I think the pandemic has helped employees gain company trust that working from home is a feasible option, and productivity has not suffered as a consequence.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

On a personal note, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in Europe, Asia and the US during my career and I’m proud that I’ve been able to adapt and learn about different industries while also bringing up a family.

Mental health is a topic I’m particularly interested in as my degree was in Psychology, and I’m proud to have developed my skills in this area as it can be applied to any industry. As well as helping a friend launch her life coaching business, I’m also due to publish a children’s book on mindfulness in the coming months.

From a public transport perspective, I’m proud that as a team at Passenger, we have been able to listen to what bus operators and bus passengers need during this pandemic and have been agile enough to adapt and change to support the industry - whether it’s been launching new features or new products such as myTrip. myTrip now has over 20,000 users and we’ve signed up 46 operators in the space of six months, which is a great achievement.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I like to think of myself as optimistic and open minded and as a consequence I’m not afraid to try new things.  I was offered a job in Hong Kong on my wedding day and luckily my ‘soon to be’ husband had a similar mindset as me. We both thought ‘why not, let’s give it a go!’. We had our children in Hong Kong and by the time they were 5 and 6, we’d moved several times for work including to the United States. I think having a flexible, open approach to life has helped us all learn new skills, be adaptable to change and focus on the positives in everything we do.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

As a mother of two teenage daughters, I strongly believe that being a woman should never hold you back from any career that you want to pursue. You should always follow your dreams, and do your best not to limit yourself with self-doubt. Imposter syndrome affects us all at times, but developing a strong sense of self belief and confidence in your abilities is key.

For anyone looking to change careers, it’s important to remember that skills are transferable, so don’t ever feel stuck to one particular industry if you feel you need a change. You may lack experience, but you can learn anything you put your mind to. I’ve worked in sales and marketing in a real mix of areas including entertainment, media, mental health and technology - and these have all brought skills which I’ve been able to apply to my role at Passenger.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I believe a big barrier is a lack of confidence stopping women from applying for certain jobs if they don’t feel 100% qualified or experienced. I also think there’s still a lack of interest in tech subjects at school for girls, so many choose not to pursue it as a career. To inspire children early on in life, I think more needs to be done to relate such subjects to real-world people and problems, helping them empathise and understand the industry.

What do you think companies can do to support the progress of the careers of women working in technology?

One of the most important things for me is flexibility. COVID-19 has accelerated remote working policies, but as we emerge from the pandemic, there will still be companies returning to predominantly office-based environments. This can pose problems for women who want to start a family and cannot commit to traditional office hours. I think more companies need to adopt a flexible working environment to show women (and men) the possibilities of career progression while raising a family.

There is currently only 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Technology covers such a wide range of areas and as an industry needs people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Tech can change our lives for the better in so many ways and  it’s important to remember that to develop a career in tech, you don’t always have to be into STEM subjects. That said, I’d like to see more investment in schools to encourage and inspire girls to take up tech related subjects such as engineering or coding. This is starting to happen now and I do think it will help to accelerate the pace of growth.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I attended the WeAreTechWomen conference last year for the first time and I was incredibly impressed by the speakers and the way it was hosted online due to the pandemic. It was also great to be able to listen to the speakers in my own time as everything was recorded. I am also part of STEMConnext which is a fantastic network of women in tech, which is run by my friend Gill Cooke. They provide events and webinars on a range of topics including Diversity and Inclusion, mental health and host regular networking events and book clubs.

What are the most interesting elements of your job, and/or elements you feel most passionate about?

I love being able to show how anyone, no matter their level of technical experience, can use Passenger’s system. There is a huge amount of complexity behind the scenes, but our team of engineers bring everything together seamlessly and as a team we constantly look to improve the product by listening to feedback.

I’ve also really enjoyed developing myTrip, our multi-operator app, to support the smaller operator market. Its development means we can now offer cutting edge mobile ticketing capabilities to all operators within the UK now, no matter how big or small their operation. It definitely helps to make my role more interesting and diverse.

What are you currently working on that you’re excited about and why?

It’s still early days for myTrip as we launched last October, but we now have nearly 50 UK operators signed up from all over the country. It’s been fun working on the product development, marketing strategy and bringing new operators onboard.

myTrip is designed currently for the smaller operator market offering live bus tracking and mobile ticketing and we are getting a very positive response from both operators and their passengers. We are now starting to launch myTrip websites which bring even more functionality such as journey planning and interactive timetables. We’re continuing to make bus travel more convenient and accessible for all.

Why do you think it’s important for more women to work in the transport and tech industries?

Workplace diversity is an important part of any business success and this includes the transport and tech industries. Becoming more diverse and inclusive means you introduce many more different opinions and perspectives, leading to improved engagement and creativity within teams.

There are some incredibly inspiring women leading major bus companies now, breathing fresh life and ideas into what has been a traditionally older, male dominated industry.


WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here. 


Inspirational Woman: Helen Connolly | Head of Customer Services, Passenger

Helen ConnollyHelen Connolly is Head of Customer services at UK public transport app and website provider, Passenger. Passenger delivers scalable technology to public transport operators of all sizes, including mobile app ticketing, travel information apps, and websites.

Having previously worked in advertising, Helen developed a strong interest in technology as she felt it created multiple opportunities for development, as a fast-paced, creative industry which is future-proofed and evolves other industries. As a result, she joined Passenger in 2018, and her role involves being responsible for the customer service team and all interactions between Passenger as its customers. Helen has played a fundamental role in the company’s successful launch of 15 apps for Go Ahead Group, one of the biggest bus companies in the UK, in the space of just 4 weeks. She has also helped establish a brand-new customer service team at Passenger since August 2020.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’ve worked for Passenger for almost 3 years, beginning my career here in July 2018. I’m Head of Customer Services and am responsible for the customer service team and all interactions between Passenger and customers. I oversee any new customers at any level during the onboarding process - we run a very busy help desk for Premium account holders and end-users for myTrip.

I previously worked as an account manager for a promotions company, but I was always interested in technology and digital account management. I felt pursuing a career in technology created lots of opportunities for development, as it’s such a fast-paced, creative industry where new and exciting innovations are continually created.

When I worked in advertising, things were also changing a lot, so I didn’t know if that was the right place to be. Technology is a lot more future-proofed, and it evolves industries. Transport is a particularly key sector as new technological developments are making systems far more efficient. All bus companies have to move with the times and companies like Passenger exist to give them reassurance, helping them evolve.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Not formally and not from the start. I was a working mum for a long time which affected my options, but I did make sure that I was abreast of changes that were happening as I looked for the best opportunities for me. I did plan my move to digital as I thought it would offer me more longevity, but my career was never plotted out from start to finish.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Starting at Passenger was a shock to the system because of how much there was to learn, and I didn’t realise that so much goes into ‘getting a bus’ - everything behind the scenes, as well as the tech side around the apps and websites. Although it was overwhelming at the beginning, the team is always supportive and happy to answer questions.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Successfully launching 15 apps for Go Ahead Group in just 4 weeks in June 2021 was a particularly proud moment. Knowing you’ve made a significant difference for one of the biggest bus companies in the country is incredible.

I’m also proud of our team and their growth, having played a part in their progression as a manager. It’s very rewarding to help people achieve their career objectives.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Simply having a positive mental attitude and looking for the good in every situation rather than dwelling on negatives when things go wrong. It also helps that I genuinely enjoy what I do and feel confident and empowered. I'm always a glass half full (of gin!) person!

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

I would encourage more women to speak to others about their genuine experiences before deciding whether the industry is right for them. It is easy to be misled by reading up on job descriptions on the internet for instance – you can get a far better understanding from speaking directly to someone in the industry.

Also, make sure you ask lots of questions! I’m still learning after three years at the company, but by continually asking questions, it means every day is different and I can pass my knowledge onto people.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I think there is still a misunderstanding of the tech industry, with many women believing it solely involves lots of data and a solitary lifestyle. On the contrary, working in transport and technology is very diverse - as well as working with data, I’m also dealing with people and that’s the part of the job I love.

To overcome this, we need more women to share their experiences and inspire others.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

I believe profiling is key. Companies need to encourage and even incentivise their female employees to share their stories, as well as researching events like careers and university fairs to determine relevant speaking opportunities.

There are currently only 17 percent of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would ensure there was more parental support from both businesses and the government, such as more flexible working patterns and childcare funding. As a working parent, at one point I had what amounted to two full-time jobs, and I wish there was an expectation of employers to have more empathy and support the women who end up undertaking both parenting and a career.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

On a broader level, I enjoy reading insights from women working in the transport industry, such as those on the Women In Transport blog. I appreciate the support given to women working at different levels, not just founders - so many women are doing fantastic work and making a difference, so I think they deserve to be recognised.

What are the most interesting elements of your job, and/or elements you feel most passionate about?

It’s very satisfying to see a customer go from not having an app and being almost scared of or intimidated by the process, to getting them to the point where they are knowledgeable and confident. I also like how much Passenger involves its operator customers in a partnership approach, so they feel empowered and involved in the process, the product, and its development.

What are you currently working on that you’re excited about and why?

We’ve established a brand-new customer service team since August 2020, taking on four new staff members. Every new appointment brings something unique to the team, and it’s been gratifying to share my knowledge with a new generation of transport industry team members.

Who in your industry do you feel is particularly inspirational?

Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport is a very inspirational leader. Blackpool Transport is leading by example because of how they use data to fuel their decisions. It’s clear this is down to Jane’s strong leadership skills and vision for the business.

Christine McGlasson, Managing Director at Xplore Dundee is also noteworthy, and I admire how she is very hands-on in the business. When we first launched Xplore Dundee’s app and website, she really recognised the importance of the technology for their future. She has a strong vision for the business, and a genuine commitment to providing a high-quality service.


WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here