WOMEN IN TRUCKING: A POSITIVE CHANGE
As we are biting in 2022, it's vital to consider how we, as an industry, can work together to constructive causes. Need something to think about for the year ahead in this industry? More women in trucking.
Can Women Help to Overcome the Driver Shortage?
While carriers are consistently hiring, they are unable to find enough competent candidates, and turnover is high due to the job's numerous hurdles. For years, the "Driver Shortage" has been a topic of discussion in trucking media and at industry conferences. "How can we recruit more female drivers to tackle the capacity problem?" is a question that isn't posed nearly enough.
Women make up 47% of all workers in the United States, while only 6% of truck drivers are female (American Trucking Association). The shortfall would be greatly eased if more women worked in trucking.
Why Aren’t More Women Working in the Trucking Industry?
Women are discouraged from joining the trucking profession for a variety of reasons, including safety concerns, a lack of female-friendly facilities such as showers and restrooms, and too much time away from home.
Another significant issue is that truck cabs are designed for male drivers rather than female drivers.
Female truck drivers, on average, are six inches shorter and weigh around 28% less than their male colleagues. Women's smaller and shorter stature makes reaching the controls in the cab more difficult, discouraging them from entering the industry (Trucks.com).
What can be done to encourage women?
Given the trucking industry's driver shortage and shifting demographics, it's critical for manufacturers to make trucks more female-friendly by making minor changes to the seats, pedals, and gauges.
Some businesses have begun to address these concerns in novel ways. The majority of Covenant Transportation Group's female truckers, for example, operate in two-person teams, some of which are mother-daughter duos. This is an excellent strategy to address both workplace safety and work-life balance concerns. Companies are also employing cleaner terminals, timetables that ensure home time, and truck-stop safety programs to entice more women to apply for driving employment.
Women have proven to be more cautious and alert behind the wheel as a result of these changes.
Werner Enterprises Inc. COO, Derek Leathers, stated that female drivers are outperforming males whether it is measuring accidents, inspections, or compliance issues.
(Themes in Transportation)
Safety Spotlight: Women in Trucking Association
The Women in Trucking Association is a nonprofit organization whose aim is to promote women's emplyment in the trucking business, celebrate their achievements, and remove barriers that women face while working in the industry (Women in Trucking).
According to Ellen Voie, the association's president and CEO, employing women truck drivers could increase safety.
On average, male drivers had twice as many accidents as female drivers.
"Women take fewer risks, hence women's accidents happen at slower speeds," Voie explained.
"There is less equipment damage and less loss of life" (Trucks.com).
More women in trucking will not only contribute to overcome the driver shortage problem, but it will also improve road safety.