International Women’s Day 2020 series: Vera Bogdanovic – trailblazing the way for women in transport since 1977

PUBLISHED ON 06/03/2020
International Women’s Day 2020 series: Vera Bogdanovic – trailblazing the way for women in transport since 1977

This year, Sunshine West driver Vera Bogdanovic celebrates 43 years in the transport industry saying she still loves coming to work everyday.

Vera pioneered the way for many women to work in the transport industry, starting as a tram conductor in 1977. It was only a few years prior, in the 1960s, when women employed in the Australian public service were forced to give up their jobs once they married under the “marriage bar” and were excluded from drinking in public bars in some parts of Australia.

Vera has noticed that over the years people’s attitudes towards women have changed and for her, International Women’s Day is about encouraging women to follow their dreams. Vera says; “Whatever you want to accomplish for yourself you should go out and go for it. I accomplished what I wanted to be and I’ve been on the job for 43 years. It is a good achievement.”

Vera said a desire to work and a love of driving drove her apply to be a tram conductor. Emigrating from former Yugoslavia, talking to passengers and watching Australian television helped Vera develop her English skills.

At the time, bus drivers first needed to train as tram drivers, so Vera quickly gained experience as a tram driver before getting her bus licence in 1980.

After 43 years in the industry, Vera’s love for driving is still strong, explaining she loves “feeling like her own boss” when she gets behind the wheel.

Passengers often show their appreciation for Vera sometimes by leaving her small gifts on the change tray as they get off the bus – a bottle of water on a hot day, lollies or sometimes fruit.

Transdev has an absolute commitment to gender equality and currently has a number of initiatives in place to support us to create a more inclusive workplace such as:

  • Our Journey Maker Academy which is helping us to diversify our workforce with a focus on greater recruitment of female drivers
  • Gender neutral paid parental leave
  • Paid family violence leave
  • Communications campaigns to create a more inclusive workplace
  • Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency through Transdev Australasia. 

To mark International Women's Day we also spoke to Jenny Herrod, Ridhi Prinja and Ranjit Kaur about their careers in the transport industry.

 

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