Melbourne, May 18 : One of Sydney's largest bus operators will now be able to exclusively recruit women drivers and not be worried about being sued for discrimination.
Veolia Transport has been trying to recruit women who, it feels, are not only better drivers, but also "gentler" on the buses.
After a nine-month campaign, the company has now been granted an exemption by NSW Attorney-General John Hatzistergos to go ahead and recruit women.
This means that Veolia Transport can advertise exclusively for women without fear of prosecution.
"We find women are gentler on the buses, on the machinery than men, and they relate to passengers better. We would certainly like to get more women driving," News.com.au quoted Veolia Transport managing director Morris Caputi, as saying.
"It's all about getting more women into becoming bus drivers, and to explain to them that it is not that hard to drive a bus.
"But to get (female drivers), we need to be able to advertise. We want to show them that buses are not that hard to drive or manoeuvre. They have power steering," he said.
A shortage of drivers, as well as unavailability of drivers between 10am and 2pm is what has prompted them to recruit women.
"The Board advised that the recruitment drive would address an existing gender imbalance in the traditionally male-dominated transport industry and therefore met the Board's Exemption Guidelines as well as the Anti-Discrimination Act's broad objective of promoting equal opportunity." Mr Hatzistergos said.
"On the basis of this advice and the Boards recommendation, the exemption was approved," he added.