Award for Brighton and Hove Buses’ employee who secured better maternity pay policy at company
A maternity pay campaigner and customer champion who works at Brighton and Hove Buses has won a national award for her work to promote women’s rights in the workplace.
Paula Jones, City Centre Supervisor, recently won the Customer/Passenger Above & Beyond category in the 2021 Everywoman in Transport Logistics Awards.
These awards recognise women who have blazed a trail for other women in the transport industry, strived for gender equality and improved customers’ journeys.
Paula was influential in changing Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ maternity leave policy in 2017 after sharing her own experience with bus company directors.
She told them about her struggles as a single parent when she was moved on to statutory maternity pay after six weeks.
Maternity leave at the bus company is now around 90 per cent pay for six months.
Paula has sat on the bus company’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum since 2015 and remains committed to equality for women, while also championing the rights of other marginalised colleagues.
Paula, who first began her career in the company in 2010 as a driver at the Lewes Road depot, said she would keep trying to help improve the flexibility of shifts for women, and other colleagues with caring responsibilities, so they stayed in the bus industry.
She said she was honoured to win an Everywoman Award and to help show other women how far they could go working in the transport industry.
“The awards are a fantastic way of showcasing achievements, as well as inspiring and empowering women in what is a predominantly male environment,” she said.
Martin Harris, Brighton & Hove and Metrobus Managing Director, congratulated Paula, adding: “She pretty much single-handedly persuaded us to move away from the minimum legal requirements on maternity pay and to do better.
“But as Paula has said, there is always more to do and we are committed to doing it.
“Paula is our fourth Everywoman Award winner.
“Like other winners, I know she will be a role model to inspire other women to progress their careers with us.”