March 22, 2019
A woman taxi driver in Hull aims to change any negative perceptions associated with females in the trade.
Michelle ‘Bella’ Wilkinson previously worked as a manager in a local betting shop before she made the decision to completely switch her career and become a taxi driver. She now seeks to encourage more women to join the taxi industry.
Fifteen years on and Bella loves life working as a taxi driver, often going above and beyond for her customers.
The hard-working 51-year-old currently works for 706 Taxis and impressively juggles her working life with being a grandmother of 10.
Bella said: “I wanted to work for myself and have my own independence. I used to be a betting shop manager and I’ve worked as a butcher too.
“Ever since the kids were little, I’d always wanted to be a taxi driver. I wanted to make more money and thought it would be great to do once I’d dropped the kids off at school.”
Bella wants to increase the number of female taxi drivers in a widely
Going the Extra Mile
Highly recognised in Hull for her exceptional customer service, Bella has many passengers request her as their usual taxi driver.
She describes herself as an outgoing and approachable driver and said: “A lot of elderly and mums with children ask for me.
“I’m everybody’s friend and I think a lot of them feel safer with me as their driver. To be honest, you shouldn’t be a taxi driver if you’re not willing to go the extra mile.”
Bella describes her job as extremely ‘rewarding’ and enjoys meeting new people in her community.
Fighting for Females
To recruit even more women drivers, Bella wants to eliminate negative views and create a stronger gender balance in the trade.
She said: “It would be great to see more of a split and there’s a need for more women drivers out there.
“Some people specifically want women to take them on journeys so there’s a service there to be fulfilled.”