The trucker shortage continues to be a problem. A recent bill proposed to lower the driving age to 18, but the bill is still in debate. In the meantime, trucking companies are looking for ways to recruit as many drivers as possible. The latest development is that many companies are now looking for qualified women who have a desire to drive for a living. Ellen Voie, president of the Women in Trucking Association, is an advocate for this cause.
Historically, truck drivers have been predominantly male. The industry is changing due to rapid growth, increased pay, and a focus on recruiting women to the field. Women stand to gain the same benefits in the industry as males, and they are interested in exploring the world of trucking as an alternative to higher education or working in an industry for which they have little interest.
Breaking Down the Stereotype of the Female Trucker
If you picture a female trucker, you may envision a certain stature, personality, or look, but the reality is that women from all walks of life are finding joy in a trucking career. Barriers based on stereotypes are slowly being torn down with more industries targeting women in their recruitment campaigns. The military, engineering, and construction fields are a few of the many industries opening up more and more to the idea of women in career positions. The truck industry is also welcoming the change with open arms. Not only do women drivers fill a much needed driver shortage, they also bring an increasing amount of diversity to the field.
Companies choose female candidates for their adept driving skills and good judgment. Female drivers may also be less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors that males are commonly cited for on the job.
Making Trucking a Gender-Diverse Industry
As more and more women came into the field, companies began to incorporate policies and practices that support women drivers. For example, truck manufacturers are working to make cabs more accessible for female drivers by developing a wider range of adjustability in the driver’s seat and altering automatic transmissions to require less fatigue-inducing movement over long journeys. These changes, among others, are making women feel safer and more welcome to the industry.
Although the job is unconventional, a trucking job can offer great benefits and get women out of traditional, and sometimes boring, office jobs. Many carriers offer drivers comprehensive health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and transportation jobs that don’t require heavy lifting. Millennial females, in particular, are being contacted by the industry as young individuals who can build a rewarding career.
Organizations like Women in Trucking, which focuses on educating individuals and companies about the benefits of gender diversity in trucking, is one group spearheading the charge to include more women in the field. Carriers looking to add a distinctive edge to their recruiting program and improve their reputations as an equal-opportunity employer may want to look at campaigns that target women in the near future.