Spotlight on Debbie Lambshead, HR Manager Go-Ahead London

Spotlight on Debbie Lambshead, HR Manager

The Women in Bus and Coach “Spotlight On” initiative shines a light on the incredible contributions of women in all roles across the bus, coach, and community transport sector. From professional drivers and engineers to human resources experts and CEO’s, ‘Spotlight On’ will highlight the diverse talents and achievements of women in this dynamic industry.

Today we focus on and find out about:

Debbie Lambshead
HR Manager
Go-Ahead London

What is your role?

I am the HR Manager for Go-Ahead London and have been in the role for almost six years. I mostly manage TUPE transfers, job adverts and the associated selection process, also policies and procedures. Along with a small head office team, I offer strategic employment advice to 17 garages, all of whom have their own local considerations.

How did you get to where you are today?

I joined the bus industry in 2002 having previously had a career in banking. During the intervening 22 years, I have undertaken senior HR roles for First Group, Tower Transit and now Go-Ahead London.

What I love most about working in the sector is the people. I have been fortunate to engage with many excellent colleagues, all of whom have a passion for what they do. In my experience, most people are willing to help and share their experiences. In doing so, they impact their knowledge, which acts as a catalyst for people to grow and develop. Future managers and leaders inevitably come through this process.

What do you like about the sector?

The variety – no two days are ever the same! The industry does an amazing thing in moving millions of people around the capital every day. The iconic red London bus is easily the most popular transport mode in the city, which is something to celebrate. Most of the people involved in the business love travelling on the network and are wonderful ambassadors for it.

What does a typical day look like?

There is no typical day. You can be dealing with the transfer of people between bus companies under a TUPE arrangement at one moment and preparing an advert or new contract for a colleague the next.  Then you can be answering a call to any one of the 8,000 colleagues employed by Go-Ahead Lonon, while resolving a query about holiday, pensions, or maybe responding to a transfer request within the Go-Ahead Group family. Like our workforce, it’s diverse, which I really enjoy.

What advice would you give to women thinking about a career in the bus and coach sector?

Go for it. I lover the industry, the people and especially delivering an amazing first-class service to the London public. Women in Bus and Coach is one of many support systems in place and the Go-Ahead Group is genuinely committed to employing more females to join the sector.  London has many brilliant role models, running busy bus garages or in very senior positions, such as departmental heads. We strive to reflect the areas we serve, so it’s important more women consider a fulfilling career within the public transport industry.

What has been your bus or coach sector career highlight?

Having an article feature in Coach and Bus Week in 2018 after I joined Go-Ahead and all the colleagues I have had the pleasure to work with in the last 20 years.

What three things could the Bus and Coach sector do to improvement the industry for Women?

Provide exceptional hygiene facilities across the network. They really do reflect on the company’s culture.

Believe that women can do any role, make these positions attainable and create an environment where it’s possible for them to be appointed.

Ask what women want rather than jumping to the conclusion that we know what they want from their employer.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I would like to have made a difference in the Go-Ahead London business and be involved in the leadership of an exceptional brand that has first class facilities across the capital, delivering an outstanding service to the London travellers. In the process, female faces become the norm, rather than a 20 per cent minority.

Anything else you would like to share?

I love my job and am so please I ended up working in this amazing industry!

Thank you for sharing your story, Debbie, you are truly an inspiration!

To find out more about who Debbie works for and career opportunities visit: Home :: Go-Ahead London (

On 8 March 2024, Go-Ahead has set a target to recruit 1,500 women bus drivers, aiming for 50% gender equality by 2035. The ‘Go-Ahead Women’ initiative will see an investment of £8 million to create inclusive environments and training opportunities for our female colleagues. The new recruits will receive eight weeks of fully paid training estimated to be an investment of £7.5 million. Find out more:



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