August 07, 2018 20:48:38

An ACT Government media statement “inviting ladies to come and try driving a bus” has sparked a social media backlash, with women describing it as “condescending” and “sexist”.

Key points:

  • The recruitment campaign is designed to boost the number of female bus drivers
  • Women on social media mostly took issue with the statement’s “sexist” language
  • The media release quotes a female driver as saying “I feel powerful handling a vehicle as big as a bus”

The statement, issued by Transport Canberra this afternoon, spruiks a “Ladies Come and Try Day” in a bid to increase the number of female bus drivers.

Currently just 10 per cent of bus drivers are female.

In the media statement, the ACT Government said it was “committed to the recruitment of female drivers” and this Saturday, August 11 was “designed for females to try their hand at driving a bus under supervision”.

It did not take long for the media release to gain attention on social media.

“Did I slip into a coma and time travel back to 1952?” one woman wrote on Facebook.

“This would have to be the most condescending sexist advertisement I’ve ever read.”

“They must have finally got those side-saddle buses,” another woman wrote on Twitter.

One woman on Facebook questioned whether applicants had to be “lady-like” and took issue with the language used in the release.

“Women. We mainly identify as women. It’s not that hard,” she said.

‘I feel powerful handling a vehicle as big as a bus’

The Government also copped criticism for the quotes from female staff it included in the statement.

A current female bus driver was quoted as saying: “I feel powerful handling a vehicle as big as a bus, and although it takes skill, it’s easier than it looks.”

“I love interacting with passengers and the people I work with are great!”

The media release ends by stating:

“Everyday female bus drivers are out on the road showing that they’re equally as safe and confident behind the wheel.”

“Transport Canberra hopes the Ladies Come and Try Day will encourage more females to apply for future driving positions at Transport Canberra.”

“Ladies” are encouraged to register for the event online.

Transport Canberra has been contacted for comment.







First posted

August 07, 2018 19:33:06

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