Spotlight on Spotlight on Emma Bilclough

Spotlight on Emma Bilclough Payroll, Services 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:

Emma Bilclough
Payroll Services Manager
Go-Ahead London

What is your role?

Payroll Services Manager at Go-Ahead London

How did you get to where you are today?

I started as a Payroll Administrator working in Go-Ahead Northeast, where I successfully completed my AAT accounting qualification and a Foundation Degree in Payroll Management through the CIPP (The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professions).  I was promoted to Payroll Services Manager at Go-Ahead London and moved from North to South.

I love the challenge of learning and am currently studying towards a BA Hons in Business Management through distance learning with Lincoln University and hope to have this completed by September 2025.

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

Working Full time and studying whilst bringing up a family was difficult, but I always felt supported by Go-Ahead.  I was fortunate to be promoted at 29 and as a young woman in a male dominated industry, I felt welcomed and respected and there was no hostility.

If so, how did you overcome then?

I overcame this by working hard and doing the role I was hired to do, always offering a professional service and striving at all times to be efficient and effective.

What do you like about the sector?

It’s a great sector to be in regardless of the role.

We keep the Capital moving, we are key players in major events such as the London Olympics and have proved how essential our business is during the recent pandemic by continuing to get key workers to work.

What does a typical day look like?

We pay 7000+ employees every week so it is non-stop, with tight deadlines, efficiency and accuracy are essential to the team as we are responsible for paying colleagues correctly and on time.

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

Go for it, there is so much opportunity within the company and a lot of variety, there is a so much more to running and working for a bus company and the travelling public have no knowledge of what is needed and necessary to get buses out on the road in service every day.

What has been your bus or coach sector career highlight?

Working full time and studying to Graduating at the age of 29 – it’s never too late to study and improve and enhance your skills and knowledge.

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

Health plan to support wellbeing through menopause and life changing events.

Maternity Package – SMP is minimal and not realistic to live on

Offer childcare support / school holiday clubs.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I really haven’t thought about it, I’m trying to focus on finishing my Business Management degree.

Thank you for sharing your story, Emma, you are truly an inspiration.

To find out more about who Emma 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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