Women in Trucking: A Force to be Reckoned With
Statistics show that more women are entering a traditionally male field: trucking. Today, an estimated 8 percent of truck drivers are women. Though this is not an impressive statistic, the number is slowly rising. But why should women want to pursue a career in trucking?
The Right Match
Estimates show that the truck driver shortage will reach 160,000 by 2028. Though companies are actively looking for candidates, hiring is unable to keep up with demand because of high turnover and retirement. However, trucking companies’ recruiting efforts are consistently missing an untapped source of talent: women.
Why women? Women are 20 percent less likely than men to be involved in a crash. Founder and CEO of the nonprofit Women in Trucking Associaton (WIT) Ellen Voie has said that carriers regularly tell her that women take better care of their equipment, are easier to train, and have exemplary customer service and paperwork skills.
Why Women Should Consider Trucking
There are many benefits of trucking and transportation careers that many women are not aware of. For example, the average annual salary for heavy and tractor-trailer drivers is well above the federal minimum wage and companies are raising pay to attract workers. In addition, there is no gender pay gap among drivers — truck drivers are paid either by the mile, the load or the percentage.
Women without a college degree can still obtain great benefits and stability, unlike positions in food service or home health support. Women may also pursue opportunities in management or office roles.
Why Trucking Doesn’t Have More Women
Because the majority of truckers are male (90 percent), trucking is viewed as a masculine profession. Many employers are unconsciously biased and have recruiting efforts that primarily target men. Recruiters need to recognize their bias and intentionally create job ads targeting women.
In an article for Indeed, Voie mentioned that some companies actually drive female workers away by highlighting job risks or using sexist ad content. To attract women, trucking companies need to emphasize safety and equip women with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as truck drivers.