City's 'best' driving instructor pushes for more women in the industry
- Credit: Louise Venn
The region's best driving instructor has said more women teachers are needed as many pupils feel "uncomfortable" with male teachers.
Louise Venn was named the best driving instructor in the east of England at an awards ceremony on February 6.
The Little Plumstead driving guru was also named the nation's sixth best instructor.
Ms Venn, the boss at DTS Driving School, says women are still few and far between in the industry, despite the fact many new pupils specifically ask for a female instructor.
She added: "The requests are mainly from parents who are getting in touch on behalf of their 17-year-old daughters.
"A lot of people have had bad experiences with men.
"Not sexual but they've just been made to feel uncomfortable.
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"But because there are less female instructors about it makes it even more difficult for them to find someone."
Ms Venn says the phone has not stopped ringing since she won the gongs with requests coming in from across the city and beyond.
She added she hasn't let the attention go to her head, saying: "I couldn't believe it.
"But I feel pretty much the same as I did before - I haven't let it change me.
"Ever since I won I'm having to say no to new pupils, the phone has been ringing off the hook.
"You have to be nominated by your pupils and then eventually people access the entries and shortlist the best ones, so it's nice to be appreciated."
Ms Venn found her calling after the break down of her marriage in 2015.
She previously worked in the hospitality industry but switched lanes to teach city folk how to get behind the wheel.
She said: "I've been an instructor for nearly seven years now. I used to be in HR and training for hospitality companies so I did a lot of driving and that made me think maybe I could make a career out of it.
"Then when my marriage broke down I wanted something new to drive my new life.
"I trained with the AA and worked with them for a bit before starting DTS Driving School with my former trainer."