A Richmond Business Award winner wants women to break into male-dominated industries to help remove the stereotypes from society.

Parker Cars began as a family business in 1989 with a vision of building a minicab, taxi and chauffeur company with customer service at its heart.

Since then, the company has grown, picked up accolades including the Richmond Business Award for customer service, and taken on a team of female drivers to help break down the stereotype that driving is a male dominated industry.

Joe Polley, senior partner of Parker Car Service, said: “Customers love getting female drivers as it is such a breath of fresh air in such a male dominated environment.

“They say the vibe and the conversations in the car are quite different. It helps that the women drivers are such interesting characters, they all have a story of why they are behind the wheel of a cab and most of them have a family, career or passion that they can indulge because of the flexibility driving a cab gives them.”

Among the company’s drivers are Alicja Wrona, a Polish motorcyclist, Ana Hartvigsson, a horse trainer and Sangeeta Birdi, undefeated champion of the female boxing world.

Mr Polley added: "This year, of the 650 drivers we have 10 of these are female drivers whereas we had just one or two last year so it is a real growth area for us.

"Part of this success has been having a smaller executive team looking after them and making sure they are safe and they get to the right customers."

For more information, visit parkercarservice.co.uk.