The Future of Women in Trucking
by Hannah Marcom | January 23, 2017
There have always been women in trucking.
There are women who provide back office support, women dispatchers, brokerage agents, and women who own their own trucking companies. Elaine Chao was recently appointed Secretary of Transportation and throughout the industry, it seems as though women are making their presence in trucking more visible. The number of female truck drivers has grown 50% in the last decade, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). However, a study by the Bureau of Labor states women make up only 5.1% of truck drivers. But that number is expected to increase and here are some reasons why.
Recruiting Women Truckers
With the truck driver shortage many companies are starting to make equipment adjustments to accommodate and recruit women truckers. These modifications to the truck makes driving physically easier for the trucker and safer on the road.
Women truck drivers statistically hold a better safety record than their male counterparts. According to President and COO of Werner Enterprises, Derek Leathers, they are more patient on the road and tend to get into smaller and less damaging accidents resulting in a 25% lower accident cost. Ellen Voie, the founder, President & CEO of the Women in Trucking Association, has found that women truckers are an asset not only on the road, but they are better with the customers and more organized with paperwork making the back office run smooth as well.
Why would a woman want to drive a truck? Probably for the exact same reasons that men are interested in the industry! Being in control of their own environment while on the road.
One of our clients, Cynthia, started out driving trucks in 1996 and now owns her own company. She says that her independence is her favorite part of the job. Women are offered just as much earning potential in truck driving as men because the jobs are based on how hard you want to work and less about office politics in other traditionally female dominant industries.
Being on the road and away from family and friends is hard no matter who you are. But cleaning up truck stop rest areas, allowing pets on the road, and other improvements have made it more inviting for women to take to the open road.
All in all the trucking industry is already a diverse work environment with all types of people and is becoming more inclusive to keep them happy and help meet the demand that is out there. Even the Women in Trucking Association has created the WIT index so that women truck drivers can be more accurately counted as the numbers increase. So be on the lookout for more woman truckers!
Are you thinking about being like Cynthia and starting your own trucking company? Let us help you! Give us a call at 855-369-2739. To learn more about what to expect in your first year of trucking, download our free white paper and subscribe to our channel on YouTube.