Andy Lord Allyship Initiative

Allyship Initiative: Andy Lord, Commissioner of Transport, Transport for London

Our Allyship initiative recognises individuals who have been allies in supporting and encouraging Women across the bus, coach, and community transport sector. Individuals who have contributed significantly to the professional growth and empowerment of women, whether through mentorship, advocacy, or creating opportunities for women to thrive, these allies have played a crucial role in promoting gender equality and diversity in our sector.

This initiative aims to encourage everyone to be allies, with the individuals featured sharing insights into their own professional career background, their ally approach, as well as providing suggestions and advice on how we all can be allies.

Today we hear from and learn about:

Andy Lord
Commissioner of Transport
Transport for London

How did you get to where you are today?

Working as Commissioner for TfL, which I perhaps biasedly consider to be the best job in public transport, follows a more than 30-year career in the transport industry. I began in the aviation sector as an apprentice, sponsored through university by British Airways. I learnt a lot in my time at British Airways and really enjoyed my 26 years there. I joined TfL in 2019 as Managing Director of London Underground, before later becoming TfL’s first Chief Operating Officer. I then succeeded Andy Byford to become London’s fifth Transport Commissioner.

Did you experience any challenges getting to where you are today?

I grew up in a single parent family, which brought along its own challenges, and I worked hard when I was young to get the start that I wanted for myself. Starting off in the workplace, I was fortunate enough to progress quite quickly – but that meant that I occasionally found that colleagues would distrust my youth and see it as a lack of hardened experience.

If so, how did you overcome them?

I’m a firm believer in the best way to address any challenges is to talk to people on a human level. If my experience has taught me anything, it is to stay grounded to who you are, what you know, and also being open about what you don’t know.

What do you like about the sector?

I’m incredibly proud about what we do at TfL and the service we provide to Londoners. Public transport is an everyday part of London life, and we ensure people can get to where they need to go; there is huge social value in that.

Beyond this, the complexities of running the largest integrated public transport system in the world – with a mix of old and new infrastructure – means that no two days are the same and it’s always exciting.

What does a typical day look like?

My role is broad. I come from an engineering background which is helpful in getting into the nooks and crannies of delivering a good and reliable service for our customers. TfL is one part of a huge number of organisations that help this city run, so I’m often meeting with key stakeholders to see how we can work best with others to achieve our goals and deliver positive outcomes for the city. Overall, supported by some brilliant colleagues, we set the strategic direction of TfL about how we can deliver for customers.

Why does the sector need allies and how do you bring this into your role?

Improving diversity is really needed in this sector, especially in bus and coach. We’re not as advanced as we should be in achieving a balanced workforce and we know that we need work too hard to make improvements. I consider it part of my role to show women and girls the exciting opportunities to be had in the sector and champion the message that all is possible.

Why is diversity important?

As an organisation, we put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our values. We know that we have a responsibility to reflect the communities we serve, and we are determined to attract and retain the best talent – irrespective of background or protected characteristic. I am passionate about this for many reasons- not only does it speak to my personal values as the right thing to do, but because I know that without championing diversity and inclusion, this organisation will not be able to deliver the best service we can for our customers and the city we serve and represent.

What changes have you made in your role to support women and to encourage more women into the bus and coach sector?

I’m really proud of the positive change we’ve seen in our Executive Committee, of which 63% is now made up of incredibly talented women who bring a wealth of experience, insight, and expertise. I’m also directly mentoring a number of female colleagues through the programme run by Women in Bus and Coach, with the goal to support them in their career where I can. We also launched a 5-year strategy, Action in Inclusion, which focuses on how we create an inclusive workforce at TfL.

What advice when you give to other men in the bus and coach sector to be a supportive ally?

Be approachable and open, always. Don’t make any assumptions about how other people are feeling or their capabilities, making sure you’re actively listening to others. Finally, be proactive in your allyship, as we all need to be on board for positive change to happen.

What could the sector do collectively together to change for the better?

We need to consider how we’re investing and how we’re considering the needs of our workforce when we’re making these decisions. For example, on the design of garages or uniform. Diversity and inclusion training should be given at all levels so we’re actively educating everyone about these topics and ensuring a welcoming environment for all.

I also believe there are opportunities to engage with school and college students to champion the great careers to be had in the sector and inspire a new generation of a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Anything else you would like to share?

Women in Bus and Coach is a great initiative and I’m really proud to be involved. It has a huge opportunity to really make a difference.

Thank you for sharing your story Andy, and thank you for being an ally and supporting the Women in Bus and Coach Initiative.

To find out more about Transport for London and career opportunities visit: Careers – Transport for London (



Newsletter Signup

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.