A SERIES of appointments to the senior team of a North-East bus operator has seen it boost its pool of inspiring female talent.

A recent restructure at Go North East, to bring together its regional north and south divisions, has paved the way for three committed female team members to step into senior leadership positions.

Shirley Connell, who marked 25 years with Go North East in 2018, has taken on the new role of head of operations, with all depot managers and the service delivery centre reporting in to her.

And Sophie Moorby, who initially joined the company as a graduate trainee, and has been guided in her career by mentor Shirley Connell, returned to Go North East in March as operations manager at Gateshead Riverside, following a stint at Arriva Darlington as general manager.

Meanwhile compliance and risk manager Stephanie Young has had her role recently expanded. In her new position, Stephanie will continue to improve the female versus male ratio for employment as Go North East’s ‘Bus Women’s Champion’ and will carry on in her role on the North East Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Advisory Board.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Go North East said: “Shirley, Stephanie and Sophie have been recognised not only for getting the job done, but being role models, leading by example, and championing our vision, beliefs and attitudes, which are at the very heart of the company.

“While we operate in a traditionally male-dominated industry, having a diverse, inclusive environment is something we take very seriously.

“Our workforce must reflect the communities we serve, to allow us to successfully deliver on our customer promise of ‘journeys taken care of’.

“We hope these latest senior appointments will encourage others to aim high – no matter what industry they set their sights on.”

And for the first time in 20 years, Go North East recently enlisted a female recruit – 19-year-old Melissa Millington - as part of the newest intake to its bus and coach mechanical and electrical engineering apprenticeship.