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RENEWED calls for more female drivers to get behind the wheel of a taxi across the UK

There are renewed calls for more female taxi drivers to get behind the wheel in black cabs and taxis cross the UK.

According to the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics, 97% of taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are male. This trend has been higher than 90% for all of the last 10 years.

With only 3% of cabbies being female, many within the industry say this is not representative of any communities. There has in some regions been a long-term push for women to CONSIDER the flexible working job as a long-term career.

Laura Wall is a Knowledge of London Student who earlier this year appeared on BBC Breakfast explaining why she is studying to become a taxi driver. Wall said: “For me, it was more about the freedom of the job, it's something that I’ve wanted to do for a very very long time.

“I started it in my early 20s, I didn’t get very far, I was young and didn’t take it seriously at the time.

“But, 20 years down the line, I’ve had a son and for me, it’s the freedom of the job and being able to go to work as and when I want."

Just recently a new national professional drivers' association called ‘Females In The Fleet’ (FITF) was created for women drivers in the UK. The association, which is supported by several key names in the world of taxi and PHV, aims to provide access to funding and sponsorship to women looking to enter the industry. Mentoring and ongoing training with experienced industry names, sickness and accident insurance, legal assistance, and opportunities to network are also provided.

Why do so few women consider becoming a taxi driver?

The taxi industry can sometimes be seen as a slightly more dangerous profession to choose. A lone female who must concentrate on driving, whilst complete strangers sit behind, can be daunting. However, with purpose-built partition screens placed in many taxis across UK cities, anyone driving a taxi can feel safe.

There have also been other advances in technology too. CCTV can be installed inside taxi vehicles and app bookings mean many of the passengers are no-longer complete strangers with their details logged in the system.

The life of a taxi driver is incredibly flexible and can support most home lives.

Dale Forwood, London taxi driver, TX Owner and YouTuber, said during this year’s ‘Break the Bias’ gender equality campaign: “Being a London cabbie is a wonderful profession, renowned throughout the world, and it’s open to everyone. I’m made to feel very welcome by a trade which is predominantly male. It gives you a good work and family-friendly balance, with flexible hours. I highly encourage more women to become a licensed driver and continue to break the bias around taxi drivers. It’s a women’s job as well.”


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