Spotlight on Samantha Teggart

Spotlight on Samantha Teggart, Operations 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 professionals 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:

Samantha Teggart
Operations Manager – Twickenham Depot
Transport UK Bus London

What is your role?

Operations Manager for Transport UK London Bus’s Twickenham Depot

How did you get to where you are today?

I started in the industry as a 21-year-old who’d spent the last few years working in pubs and bars and being a typical 21-year-old. My Dad was on to me to “get a proper job” and encouraged me to apply for an admin role covering a period of maternity leave as a Garage Support Assistant at his work; Hounslow Bus Garage where he was an engineer and had worked my entire life.

I was successful, began work, and 12 months later when my fixed term contract came to an end, they asked me to stay on and become a permanent member of the team and I feel like I haven’t really had a chance to breathe and reflect since then and the last 14 years have just whizzed past because I’ve been having so much fun!

I stayed there for 6 years, met my husband there, got married, brought a house, learnt loads, became a relief manager, had a baby and then moved on to pastures new as a Staff Manager with Abellio (now TUK London Bus).

I instantly clicked with the company and its people-centric culture and it’s here that I’ve really grown, as did my family with the addition of baby number 2!

I’m so very fortunate to have been supported by some amazing leaders and colleagues here and I’ve been given incredible opportunities which have allowed me to learn and progress to a relief operations manager and then to where I am today, Operations Manager.

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

Yes and no. Along the way I’ve had so many amazing leaders, role models and allies so I’m extremely grateful for that. I think initially, being very young when first becoming a relief manager, it’s easy for people to look at you as just a young girl who doesn’t really have any knowledge or experience and therefore perhaps not take you very seriously or question your abilities.

If so, how did you overcome then?

By working hard to earn the respect of those around me and proving myself.

What do you like about the sector?

I’m very much a people person and I love to help people or try to enhance their life in whatever way I can and my roles within the sector have always allowed me to do that with my drivers and my team. I love how diverse it is and that you get to meet people from all different backgrounds and all different walks of life, and I love that it’s so fast paced. I also love the fact that we are such an integral part of London being able to function and that we provide essential connectivity and accessibility to our local communities.

What does a typical day look like?

No two days in my role are ever the same and that’s one of the things I love about my job but generally my overall focus is to prioritise safety, compliance, customer experience and that financial targets are met. I spend a lot of time on employee relations matters and employee engagement is always at the forefront of everything we do which is key to employee development and to promote a culture of continuous improvement and accountability. There is also a lot of collaboration with internal departments and external stakeholders which is necessary to achieve operational excellence and for optimal performance.

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

What are you waiting for! It’s a fantastic, rewarding industry with so many opportunities to progress, learn new skills and to enter a fulfilling career whichever role or department you’re thinking of joining.

What has been your bus or coach sector career highlight?

If I’m honest there have been so many when I think back over the last 14 years! Getting my own depot when I became an operations manager is definitely up there as one of the best. But a particular highlight for me was being nominated for Leader of the Year in the Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards and being shortlisted as a finalist. Whilst I didn’t win, being recognised by my manager in the first place was more than enough and the event itself; being surrounded by so many amazing women doing outstanding work within the industry was truly inspiring. It was also not the usual male dominated awards I was used to attending in our industry which shows how far we’ve come! It was particularly dear to me because I was able to take my Dad along to the event and it was so nice to get to share that experience with him and see how proud he was!

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

  • Offer better flexibility – Providing greater flexibility in work schedules, especially for roles like drivers, would accommodate women who may have caregiving responsibilities or prefer more predictable hours. Flexible scheduling options could attract more women to the industry and support their career advancement.
  • Enhance facilities with women in mind – Improving facilities such as restroom facilities at depots and terminals to cater to the specific needs of female employees. Addressing issues like privacy, cleanliness, and safety in these facilities can create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for women working in the sector.
  • Promote gender diversity and inclusion – Actively promoting gender diversity and inclusion within the industry through recruitment practices, leadership development programs, and initiatives aimed at fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. By creating opportunities for women to excel and advance in their careers, the sector can harness the full potential of its workforce and drive innovation and success.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I envision myself remaining within the bus and coach sector, albeit hopefully in a slightly different capacity. I hope to transition into a more HR-focused role, and this aligns with my passion for helping people. I aim to leverage my skill set and industry knowledge to make meaningful contributions to people management, talent development, employee engagement, and organisational culture and success.

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

To find out more about who Samantha works for, and to find out about career opportunities visit: Abellio London | Abellio London

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